Skip to main content

Full text of "The faith of Islam : an explanatory sketch of the principal fundamental tenets of the Moslem religion"

See other formats

i . i. \ I 

,^T 4 111 1^1 

1 ^ T 7 r 


pRrn -HE SHn,i/rH<^ 

1 7 IXJl mut& !&' ■ , ^a^i-l yi'iff ■•. 


, APR 28 18b7 , 










{Solicitor of the Supreme Court oj Judicature.) 

" I like the Mussulman ; he is not ashamed of his God : his 
life is a fairly pure one." — General Gordon. 

" Say : unbelievers, I will not worship that which ye worship ; 
nor will ye worship that which I worship. Neither do I worship that 
which ye worship ; neither do ye worship that which I worship. Ye 
have your religion, and I my religion." — Sura 109, Koran. 


WiLLMER Brothers & Company, Ltd,, 25, Victoria Street, am> 
64 & 66, Chester Street, Birkenhead. 

[All Rights Reserved.] 


As all the 5,000 copies which comprised the second 
-edition of this work have been exhausted, it has become 
necessary to issue another one- Since the publication of the 
last issue the pamphlet has been perused by the Caliph of 
the Faithful, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of Turkey, 
who was gracious enough to signify his commendation of the 
same ; and letters have been received from Sierra Leone, 
Lagos, and other portions of Western Africa, the Cape of 
Good Hope and the Transvaal in South Africa, from 
Hungary, the Phillipine Islands, Australia, and even from 
Hong Kong in China, and Tobolsk in Siberia, asking for 
copies of the book to be forwarded, and permission has been 
granted and the brochure is now being translated into and 
published, in addition to other languages, in Turkish, 
Oerman, Bengalee, and Tamil (the language of Southern 

In this edition I have carefully retained every line of the 
original text, but I have, in many instances, considerablj' 
extended the information previously given, my desire being 
to present as full and complete a sketch of my religion as 
was possible without extending the book to an unnecessary 
length. And I trust that the perusal of this little work may 
facilitate a correct knowledge of " the truth of that faith 
which is most excellent." '*' 

W. H. Abdullah Quilliam. 

15, Manchester Street, Liverpool, 
Srd Ramazan, 1309. 

(Which Christians style the 2«cZ Ap'il, 1892.) 

* 92adSura, " The Night." 


The great success of this httle work, the first edition of 2,000 
copies all beiog disposed of in less than eight months and 
there being a continuous demand for more copies, has 
necessitated the issue of another edition. I have accordingly 
carefully revised the book, and although I have not found it 
necessary to eliminate a single line of the original text, 
nevertheless I have deemed it advisible in some instances to 
amplify and extend the information given. 

As an example of the widespread interest awakened 

through the publication of this pamphlet I may mention that 

letters have been received from Mussulmans in Switzerland, 

St. Petersburg, Ceylon, The Punjaub, Calcutta, Bombay, 

Lahore and various other portions of India, Egypt, Straits 

Settlements and Rangoon (British Burmah\ asking for 

copies of the work, that it has been perused by royalty in the 

personages of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen of 

England and Empress of India, and of His Royal Highness 

the Khedive of Egypt, and that permisson has been granted 

and the book is now being translated into Burmese, Persian, 

Hindustanee and Arabic for publication in those various 

languages, and I only trust that these few pages will aid in 

the hastening of the time foretold in the Koran "When the 

assistance of Allah shall come, and the victory, and the 

people shall be seen entering into the religion of God by 

troops." " 

W. H. Q. 

82, Elliot Street, 

Liverpool, 29f7i Dulhegala, 1307, 
which Christians Btyle the 15fch August, 1890. 

* 110 Sura " Assistauce." 


The subject matter contained in this little work was 
originally delivered in the form of three lectures in Vernon 
Hall, Liverpool. Some of the author's co-religionists 
suggested that those lectures should be x^ublished as a 
pamphlet for public circulation. However, as he had only 
kept a few notes of his remarks on those occasions, the writer 
deemed it wiser to rewrite the matter in its present form. 
His great embarrassment has been to condense into the 
smallest possible space a concise yet fair and accurate state- 
ment of the tenets held by Mussulmans, and he trusts that he 
has not carried the process of condensation too far, and that 
this little work will remove some of the prejudices of those 
who hold a different belief, and that he has been able to place 
the main principles of the faith of Islam in an intelligible and, 
as far as possible, interesting form. — 

W. H. Q. 

July, 1889. 





When we consider that Islamism is so much mixed up with 
the British Empire, and the many milHons of Moslem fellow 
subjects who live under the same rule, it is very extraordinary 
that so little should be generally known about this religion, its 
history, and that of its followers ; and consequently the gross 
ignorance of the masses on the subject allows them to be 
easily deceived, and their judgment led astray by any preten- 
der striving to raise up an excitement against those of that 
persuasion. If, however, it be the duty of mankind to live at 
peace together, and do each other all the good, instead of all 
the evil, in their power, we cannot inform ourselves too%iuch 
on this and kindred subjects. 

What can be more absurd than the belief held by the 
majority of the people in England that the coffin of the 
prophet Mahomet is composed of steel, and held in suspension 
*' 'twixt earth and heaven " by the means of loadstones ; and 
yet of so old a duration is this ridiculous story, and so 
generally is it believed, that it has given rise to an expression 
which has become as much a part of the English language as 
is a standard Shakesperian quotation. 

Much of this deplorable ignorance, doubtless, owes its 
origin to the mischevious tales regarding the customs and re- 
ligious belief of the Moslems, which were circulated in Europe 
at the time of the crusades by Christian priests, who thus 
played upon the credulity of their flocks in order to inflame 


their zeal on behalf of the expeditions then being raised to 
*' rescue the Holy Land from the grasp of the infidel " ; but 
equally is it without doubt that falsehoods and misrepresenta- 
tions are still industriously published and circulated amongst 
English speaking people by interested persons, paid agents of 
societies, who know full well how gullible the general public 
are, and who trade on their ignorance in order to extract 
subscriptions from their pockets. 

In the following pages, therefore, we will endeavour to 
correct some of these erroneous notions,* and to explain what 
is " The Faith of Islam." 

One of the best and briefest descriptions of the faith of 
Islam is that given by David Urquhart in the introduction to 
vol. I. of his clever work *' The Spirit of the East," published 
in 1839, and reads thus : ** Islam, as a religion, teaches no 
new dogmas; establishes no new revelation, no new precepts; 
has no priesthood, and no church government. It gives a 
code to the people, and a constitution to the state, enforced 
by the sanction of religion." 

That Urquhart was right has been admitted by many. 
Palgrave, Vambery, Rawlinson, Layard, Rolland, Stanley of 
Alderley, De Chonski, and others, have participated in his 
insight and confirmed his statements. Every traveller who 
has come into intimate contact with Moslem people has had 
something to say in their favour. Notwithstanding all this, 
the bulk of opinion in Great Britain has remained unaffected. 
The truth has not been generally known, because the great 
body of the Enghsh-speaking people being brought up in one 
sect or another of the Christian faith have inherited a bitter 
and unreasoning prejudice on the subject that seems to them 
to be an essential part of their religion ; aud even when a 
dignitary of the Anglican Church hke Canon Isaac Taylor 


has had the courage at a church congress to dehver his honest 
convictions on the matter, he has been assailed by bitter 
invective and bigoted vituperation. 

The remarks of Canon Taylor, as delivered by him at the 
church congress at Wolverhampton, on the 7th October, 1887, 
aiid reported in the Times of the follo\\'ing day, are well 
worthy of careful perusal and consideration. Our time and 
space will not permit us to give the whole of his speech, but 
we cannot refrain from republishing a portion of it. 

" The Eev. Canon Isaac Taylor said that over a large por- 
tion of the world Islamism as a missionary religion is more 
successful than Christianity. (Sensation.) Not only are the 
Moslem converts from paganism more numerous than the 
Christian converts, but Christianity in some regions is actually 
receding before Islam, while attempts to proselytize Mahom- 
medan nations are notoriously unsuccessful. We not only do 
not gain ground, but even fail to hold our own. The faith of 
Islam already extends from Morocco to Java, from Zanzibar 
to China, and is spreading across Africa with giant strides* 
It has acquired a footing on the Congo and the Zambesi, 
while Uganda, the most powerful of the negro states, has 
just become Mahomedan. In India western civilization, 
which is sapping Hindooism, only prepares the way 
for Islam. Of the 255 millions in India, 50 millions 
are already Moslems/'' and of the whole population of 
Africa more than half. It is not the first propagation 
of Islam that has to be explained ; but it is the per- 
manency with which it retains its hold upon its 

* The recent census gives the number of Moslems in India as 
57,365.204, and the number of Christians (including Europeans residing 
there) as 2,284,191. It is estimated that about five millions of persons 
have, in India alone, during the last ten years, become converts to Islam. 


converts. Christianity is less tenacious in its grasp. An 
African tribe once converted to Islam never reverts to pagan- 
ism, and never embraces Christianity Islam has 

done more for civilization than Christianity. Take for ex- 
ample the statements of English officials or of lay travellers 
as to the practical results of Islam. When Mahomedanism 
is embraced by a negro tribe, paganism, devil worship, fetish- 
ism, cannibalism, human sacrifice, infanticide, witchcraft, at 
once disappear. The natives begin to dress, filth is replaced 
by clsanliness, and they acquire personal dignity and self- 
respect. Hospitality becomes a religious duty, drunkenness 
becomes rare, gambling is forbidden, immodest dances and 
the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes cease, female chasity 
is regarded as a virtue, industry replaces idleness, license 
gives place to law, order and sobriety prevail, blood feuds, 
cruelty to animals and to slaves are forbidden. A feeling of 
humanity, benevolence and brotherhood is inculcated. Poly- 
gamy and slavery are regulated and their evils are restrained. 
Islam, above all, is the most powerful total abstinence associa- 
tion in the world, whereas the extension of European trade 
means the extension of drunkenness and vice, and the degrada- 
tion of the people ; while Islam introduces a civilization of no 
low order, including a knowledge of reading and writing, 
decent clothing, personal cleanUness, veracity and self-respect. 
Its restraining and civilizing effects are marvellous. How 
little have we to show for the vast sums of money and all the 
precious lives lavished upon Africa ! Christian converts are 
reekoaed by thousands, Moslems converts by millons. 
These are the stern facts we have to face. They are 
extremely unpleasant facts ; it is folly to ignore them. We 
ought to begin by recognising the fact that Islam is not an 
an ti- Christian faith, but a half- Christian faith. Islam was a 


replica of the faith of Abraham aud Moses, with Christian 
elements. Judaism was exclusive. Islam is cosmopolitan — 
not like Judaism, confined to one race, but extended to the 
whole world. Moslems acknowledge four great teachers — 
Abraham, the friend of God ; Moses, the prophet of God ; 
Jesus, the work of God : and Mahomed, the apostle of God.* 
There is nothing in the teaching of Mahomed 
antagonistic to Christianity. It is midway between Judaism 
and Christianity. This reformed Judaism swept so swiftly 
over Africa and Asia because the African and Syrian doctors- 
bad substituted metaphysical dogmas for the religion of 
Christ. They tried to combat licentiousness by celibacy 
and virginity. Seclusion from the world was the road to- 
holiness, and dirt was the characteristic of monkish sanctity.. 
The people were practically polytheists, worshipping a crowd 
of martyrs, saints and angels. Islam swept away this mass- 
of corruption and superstition. It was a revolt against 
empty theological polemics ; it was a masculine protest 
ag:unst the exaltation of celibacy as a crown of piety. It 
brought out the fundamental dogma of religion — the unity 
and greatness of God. It replaced monkliness by manliness. 
It gave hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind and 
recognition to the fundamental facts of human nature. 

. . The virtues which Islam inculcates are what the 
lower races can be brought to understand — temperance, 
cleanliness, chastity, justice, fortitude, courage, benevolence^ 
hospitality, veracity, and resignation. They can be taught 
to cultivate the four cardinal virtues, and to abjure the seven 
deadly sins. The Christian ideal of the brotherhood of man 

* Moslems recognise six gi-eat teachers. In addition to the four given 
above they acknowledge Adam, the created of God ; and Noah, the 
specially preserved of God. Canon Taylor has overlooked this fact. 


is the highest ; but Islam preaches a jjractical brotherhood — 
the social equality of all Moslems.- This is the great bribe 
) which Islam offers. The convert is admitted at once to aa 
' exclusive social caste ; he becomes a member of a vast con- 
fraternity 150,000,000.1- A Christian convert is not regarded 
as a social equal, but the Moslem brotherhood is a reality. 
We have over much *' dearly beloved brethren " in the reading 
desk, but very little in daily life. True, the Koran offered a 
material paradise, but the social privileges attained in this 

world are a more potent motive Tlie two great 

practical difficulties in the way of the conversion of Africa 
are polygamy and domestic slavery. Mahomet, like Moses, 
did not prohibit them ; that would have been impossible ; but 
I he endeavoured to mitigate their evils. Slavery is no part of 
the creed of Islam. It was tolerated as a necessary evil by 
Mahomet as it was by Moses and St. Paul. la the hands of 
the Moslem it is a very mild institution, far milder than 
negro slavery in the United States. | Polygamy is a more 
difficult question. Moses did not prohibit it. It was 
practised by David, and it is not directly forbidden in 
the New Testament. Mahomet limited the uabounded 
licence of polygamy ; it is the exception rather than 
the rule in the most civilized Moslem lands, European 
Turkey, Algiers, and Egypt. || Polygamy, with all 

* "Verily, the true believers are brethren: wherefore reconcile your 
brethren : and fear God, that ye may obtain mercy." 49 Sura, " Inner 

t These figures are greatly below the real strength of Islam. It is 
estimated there are 240 millions of professing Moslems in the world. 

I "And as to your slaves, see that ye feed them as ye feed yourselves, 
and clothe them as ye clothe yourselves." Saying of the Prophet 

II " A case of polygamy was unknown in Candia, amongst a population of 
40,000 Mussulmans." Urciuhart's " Spii-it of the East,"' Vol. II., page3S8. 


its evils, lias its counter-balancing advantages. It has abol- 
ished female infanticide, and gives every woman a legal 
protector. Owing to polygamy Moslem countries are free 
from professional outcasts, a greater reproach to Christendom 
than polygamy to Islam. The strictly regulated pol3^gamy of 
Moslem lands is infinitely less degrading to women and less 
injurious to men than the promiscuous polyandry which is the 
curse of Christian cities, and which is absolutely unknown in 
Islam. The polyandrous English are not entitled to cast 
stones at polygamous Moslems. Let us first pluck out the 
beam from our own eye, before we meddle with the mote in 
our brother's eye. The four evils of Moslem lands— poly- 
gamy, slavery, concubinage, and licence of divorce — are no 
exclusive reproach to Islam. Within our own memory, if 
not now, they have all prevailed in aggravated forms in the 
United States— a land nominally Christian and peopled by a 

race of EngUsh brotherhood Let us remember 

that in some respects Moslem morality is better than our own. 
In resignation to God's will, in temperance, charity, veracity, 
and in the brotherhood of believers, they set us a pattern we 
should do well to follow. Islam has abolished drunkenness, 
gambling and prostitution — the three curses of Christian lands. 
Islam is the closest approach to Christianity which has been 
able to take hold of Eastern or Southern nations. It is 
superior to the grovelling superstition of the Coptic and 
Abyssinian churches." 

The pubUcation of Canon Taylor's remark^ led to a some- 
what animated correspondence in the columns of the " Times " 
newspaper. Many of these letters are well worth reproduction, 
but the bpace at our disposal will not permit us to avail our- 
selves of more than one, and it is from the pen of Mr. Joseph 


Thompson, the well-known African traveller, who under date 
of November 10th, writes from Edinburgh as follows : — * 

'* From experience I know how dangerous it fs to recognise 
any good in any living religion outside the orthodox pale 
a^nd its immediate vicinity, or to offer any criticism on the 
method adopted by church agencies to propagate their 
creeds. The critic's motives are sure to be misrepresented 
and held up to opprobrium, while his facts will probably be 
ignored. He soon discovers that the church or its mission- 
ary agencies love not the light, or at least only such as 
passes through authorized loopholes or specially supplied 
coloured glass. As an observer of somewhat varied experi- 
ence in Eastern, Central, and Western Africa, where I have 
seen Christianity and Mahomedanism f in contact with the 
Negro, I would claim to be heard. It has been argued by 
some of your correspondents that in Eastern Africa and the 
Nile basin you see Islam in its true colours in congenial 
association with the slave trade and all forms of degradation 
and violence. A more baseless statement could not be con- 
ceived. I unhesitatingly affirm — and I speak from a wider 
experience of Eastern Central Africa than any of your 
correspondents possess — that if the slave trade thrives it is 
because Islam has not been introduced to these regions, and 
for the strongest of all reasons, that the spread of 
Mahomedanism would have meant the concomitant 
suppression of the slave trade. 

* This letter Avas published iu the " Times " of the 14th November, 1887. 

t The Moslems do not call their religion Mahomedanism, nor do they 
render any worship, as some have supposed, to their Prophet. This 
name is purely of foreign origin, and is objected to by them, on the same 
principle, that he whom Christians style St. Paul, objected to saying, " I 
am of Paul, Cephas or Apollos." 



Islam is not preached to the Negro because the Muscat 
Arabs desire to retain their slave-hunting grounds. To do 
otherwise would have been to hail the natives as brother 
Mussulmans where they hoped to capture slaves. In the 
same way many of our Christian traders, you may rest 
assured, would resist most strenuously the introduction of 
missionaries of their religion into their trading grounds, if 
it was not found that the profession of Christianity among 
the natives was not incompatible with a large consumption 
of gin. It is sometimes convenient, however, to confound a 
people with their religion — when it does not come too near 

"Again, it has been triumphantly pointed out that the 
religion of Mahomet does not sx3read in the Eastern division 
of the African continent. That is perfectly true. I have 
already mentioned one potent reason. There is a second 
equally important. Islam, like Christianity, is brought 
among the natives by an alien race — a race in every respect 
far above them — a race which characterizes them as 
"Wa-Sherzi (wild men). The Muscat Arab is cut off by a 
wide gulf from the Negro. He does not attempt to pass it. 
By being thus cut off from the race the Negro makes no 
attempt to acquire its religion nor its manners. But while I 
unhesitatingly afiirm that the slave trade flourishes in 
Eastern Central Africa because Islam is not there, only its 
professor, I as confidently assert that this so much 
reviled religion has done one great service there. It has 
prevented the spread of the liquor traffic. In Zanzibar 
itself the Sultan has been impotent to arrest the traffic, 
because Christian nations objected to any restriction of 
' trade.' Happily, on the mainland he has hitherto been 
allowed a freer hand in enforcing the rules of his religion, and 


so done an enormous service in preventing the demoralization 
of the easily seduced blacks. How long tliis will last now that 
Germany's ' pioneers of civilization ' are descending upon the 
land remains to be seen. Turning now to Western Africa and 
the Central Soudan — which I also have had the opportunity 
of visiting — we find a far different state of things prevailing. 
Here we have Islam as a living, active force, full of the fire 
and energy of its early days, proselytizing too with much of 
the marvellous success which characterised its early days. 
Here we have it preached equally in the streets of Sierra 
Leone, and among the debased cannibal tribes of the Niger 
basin. With the disingeiiousness which makes them attempt 
to fasten the evils of the slave trade upon Islam, the 
defenders of the Christian faith seek with might and main to 
minimize and distort the facts about the success of Islam in 
Western Central Africa. Unable to recognise any good 
except it come through orthodox channels, they seek to 
describe its advance as a terrible calamity and unmixed evil 
to the African. They declare — as they have been taught 
from their childhood — that Mahomedanism can only be 
propagated by means of fire and sword. They delight to 
draw pictures of the terror-stricken Negro on his knees, his 
hut in flames behind him, his wives and children, with halters 
round their necks, being dragged off by ferocious men to 
make slaves of, while a demon-like Mussulman stands over 
him with drawn sword, giving him the alternative of ' death 
or the Koran.' This is the stereotyped notion how Mahome- 
danism is propagated — an idea, I suppose, handed down 
from previous generations. Happily, I have had an 
opportunity of seeing for myself, and seeing differently. 
The greatest triumphs of Islam in the Central and AVestern 
Soudan have been by peaceful and unassuming agencies — the 


■erratic Fellani herdsman in the past, the energetic and enter- 
prising Hausa or Nupe trader in the present. From some- 
where about the 12th century the herdsman has been engaged 
spreading his rehgion from Lake Chag to the Atlantic, with 
the result that the entire region became honeycombed with 
little Mahomed an coteries by the end of last century. They 
but wanted a leader to throw off the yoke of paganism and 
proclaim the Unity of God. With the beginning of this 
century came the leader in the person of Fodiyo. and in a 
surprisingly short time Mahomedanism was established as the 
reigning religion over a huge extent of country, giving an im- 
petus to the barbarous tribes which has produced the most 
^astounding results. In these later years the chief agent in 
the spread of Islam has been, as I have already remarked, the 
Hausa or Nupe trader. Protected by the sanctity of his busi- 
ness, the Negro merchant penetrates into every tribe within 
hundreds of miles of his own home. He mixes with the 
barbarous pagan as one of like blood with himself ; he sleeps 
in the same house, he eats the same food. Everywhere he 
carries his religion with him, its great central features unob- 
scured by unthinkable and transcendental dogmas. He has 
just so much of doctrine as his pagan brother can understand 
and assimilate. The trader remains a month, or it may be 
six months or a year. During that time he is admired for his 
fine clothes, and the people around him begin to ape him. 
"They see nothing which they may not hope to aspire to ; 
there is nothing in his rehgion they do not understand. In 
this manner have the seeds of civilization and Islam been 
scattered broadcast among numerous savage tribes, till the 
land resounds with the inspiring din of a hundred industries, 
and morning, noon, and evening rises the watchword of Islam, 
^nd knees which were formerly bent to stocks and stones, 


now bend before the one God, and lips which have quivered 
with enjoyment over the flesh of a brother man are employed 
to acknowledge His greatness and compassionateness. 

'' If Islam has not always been propagated by such 
peaceful means, what is there to wonder at ? Have we not 
required some eighteen centuries to learn that we have no 
right to force our religion on others ? What wonder, then, if 
ardent negro propagandists should seek occasionally to force 
the blessings of their religion on their unbelieving and 
stubborn bre^.hren ? " 

Having thus briefly given extracts from the speeches and 
writings of some of our countrymen upon the subject, let us 
now endeavour to calmly and dispassionately consider what 
is the creed of Islam and then to try and see if it will stand 
the test of reason and commonsense. 

*' Islam has been defined as being like a horse for beauty,, 
strength and endurance and for its swiftness in carrying^ 
conviction, and like a sword for its keen incisive power in 
argument ; it teaches a man always to live remembering that 
he has once to die, and as life is short he should therefore do 
as much good in the world as he can while he lives, and thus 
be always prepared to die." ^ 

The fundamental doctrine of Islam is that from the very 
creation of the world down to its final destruction there has 
been, and for ever will be, but one true orthodox belief; tha 
foundation of this religion is the recognition of the truth that 
there is one only and true God. " There is no God but 

* This masterly definition of tlie Faith of Islam I received from the 
lips of His laiperial Majesty Ghazi Abdul Hamid-as-sani, Sultan of 
Turkey an.l Calipli of the Faithful, in au interview he was graciously 
pleased to accord rae at the Imperial Palace of Yildiz, Constantinople^ 
in Ramazan, 1308 (May, 1891). 


<jod." *'He is God, besides whom there is no God; who 
knowefch that which is future, and that which is present : He 
is the most Merciful. He is God, besides whom there is no 
God ; the King, the Holy, the Giver of Peace, the Faithful, the 
Guardian, the Powerful, the Strong, the most High. He is 
God, the Creator, the Maker, the Originator. He hath most 
excellent names. * Whatever is in heaven and earth praiseth 
Him : and He is the Mighty, the Wise." f This belief is over 
and over again inculcated in the Koraa and passage upon 
passage might be quoted to verify this statement, but a few 
will suf&ce. *' Verily your Lord is God, who created the 
heavens and the earth in six days ; and then ascended His 
throne ; He causeth the night to cover the day ; it succeedeth 
the same swiftly; He also created the sun and the moon, and 
the stars, which are absolutely subject unto His command. 
Is not the whole creation, and the empire thereof, His ? 
Blessed be God, the Lord of all creatures ! Call upon your 
Lord humbly and in secret ; for He loveth not those who 
transgress, and act not corruptly in the earth ; and call upon 
Him with fear and desire : for the mercy of God is near unto 
the righteous. It is He who sendeth the winds spread abroad 
before His mercy, until they bring a cloud heavy with rain, 
which He drives unto a dead country ; and He causes water 
to descend thereon, by which is caused all sorts of fruits to 
spring forth." — Koran, Sura 7. (/' Al. Araf.") The 
description of the attributes of the Deity is very fine, as the 
following extracts from the second and other Suras of the 
Koran will show. 

"God!— there is no God but He; the Living, the Self 

* In the appendix will be found a complete list in Arabic and English 
in parallel columns of the 99 excellent names, or attributes of Allah (God). 

t 59 Sura. " The Emi^jration." 


subsisting, the Eternal ! neither slumber nor sleep seizeth 
Him ; to Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens or on 
the earth. Who is there that can intercede with Him, but 
through His good pleasure ? He knoweth that which is past, 
and that which is to come unto them, and they shall not 
comprehend an34hing of His knowledge, but so far as He 
pleaseth. His throne is extended over heaven and earth,, 
and the preservation of both is no burden unto Him. He is- 
the High— the Mighty." 

*' Blessed be He, in whose hands is the Kingdom, and over 
all things is He potent. Who hath created Death and Life, 
to prove which of you is most righteous in His deeds — He is^ 
the Mighty — the Forgiving — w]#o hath created the seven 
heavens one above another ; no defect canst thou discover in 
the creation of the God of Mercy ! repeat thy gaze — Sesst 
thou a single flaw ? Then twice more repeat thy gaze, and 
it shall return unto thee, dulled and weary." 

'• Prophet, say to those who ask thee of God — that God 
is one, He has no partner, and there is none like unto Him. 
He is accessible to everyone who supplicates Him ; He is 
the Master of everything ; His grandeur appertains to Him 
alone, and there is none other that can be compared with it. 
He is eternal. He begetteth not, neither is he begotten, nor 
will He beget. He has no need for either son or heir ; He 
had no parents nor was He born of any, and. there is none 
like unto Him." - 

^ Sura 112. This sura is held in special veneration by all Moslems, 
and, according to an authenticated tradition of the Prophet, is equal 
in value to a third part of the whole Koran. It was revealed in answer to- 
th,e Koreish, who asked the Prophet Avhat were the distinguishing 
attributes of the Deity he invited them to worship. 


The Caliph AH condemned in emphatic language all an- 
thropomorphic and authropopathic conceptions of the Deity. 
'' God was not like any ohject that the human mind can 
conceive ; no attribute can be ascribed to him which bore the 
least resemblance to any quality of which human beings 
have perception from their knowledge of material objects. 
The perfection of piety consists in knowing God ; the perfec- 
tion of knowledge is the affirmation of His verity ; the 
perfection of verity is to acknowledge His unity in all 
sincerity ; and the perfection of sincerity is to deny all 
attributes to the Deity .... He who asks where God is 
assimilates Him with some object. God is Creator, not 
because He Himself is created ; God is existent, not because 
He was non-existent. He is with every object, not from re- 
semblance or nearness ; He is outside of everything, not 
from separation. He is the Primary Cause, not in the mean- 
ing of motion or action ; He is the Seer, but no sight can see 
Him. He has no relation to place, time, or measure." "^ 

This belief in an eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and all- 
wise Deity carries logically with it the fact that God's religion\ 
and rule of life must have at all ages been the same. To this 
religion is given the name of Islam — a word not only signify-/ 
ing resignation, or entire submission to the service and com- 
mands of God, but also meaning striving after righteousness. 

In the second sura of the Koran the essence of the 
ethical principles involved and embodied in Islam are 
thus summarised : — ** There is no doubt in this book ; 
it is a guidance to the pious, who by faith believe in the 
Unseen, who observe the appointed prayers, and distribute 
(alms) out of what We have bestowed on them ; and who 

* Nahj-ul-Balaghat. See also "Life and Teachings of Mahomet," by 
Sjed Ameer, chap. 19. 


believe in that revelation which We have sent down unto 
thee (Mahomet), and in that which hath been revealed by Us 
to the prophets before thee, and who have a fixed assurance 
in the life to come — these have received the du'ection of 
their Lord, and they shall prosper." '^' 

•* The principal basis on which the Islamic system is 
founded are (1) a belief in the unity, immateriality, power, 
mercy, and supreme love of the Creator ; (2) charity and 
brotherhood among mankind ; (3) subjugation of the 
passions ; (4) the outpouring of a grateful heart to the giver 
of all good ; and (5) accountability for human actions in 
another existence. The grand and noble conceptions 
expressed in the Koran of the power and love of the Deity 
surpass everything of their kind in any other language. 

The unity of God, His immateriality. His majesty, His 
mercy, form the constant and never-ending theme of the 
most eloquent and soul-stirring passages. The flow of life, 
light, and spirituality never ceases. But throughout, there 
is no trace of dogmatism. Appeal is made to the inner 
consciousness of man, to his intuitive reason alone." f 

The Moslem believes that this orthodox faith was revealed 
by God to Adam at his creation ; but as years rolled along 
and generation succeeded generation the primitive faith of 
their forefathers became perverted, clouded with foolish 
traditions and clogged by idolatrous superstitions, until 
many of the inhabitants of the world had lapsed into 
absolute idolatry. Then God, in His infinite mercy, not 
desiring to punish the nations of the world without giving 
them an opportunity for repentance, inspired Noah and sent 
him to warn the people to quit their idolatrous and wicked 

* Sura 2. (The Cow) verses 1 to 6. 
t " Life aud Teachings of Mohammed " by Syed Ameer Ali. 


practices and to return to the worship of the only true God 
and the faith of Islaaa ; hut the warnings of Noah being in 
vain, the deluge destroyed the evil doers. This mission of 
Noah's and its non- success is alluded to very fully in the 
Koran, as the following extract from the 71st Sura (** Noah ") 
will show ; — 

** Verily we sent Noah unto the people, saying, Warn the 
people before a grievious punishment overtake them. Noah 
said, my people, verily I am a public warner unto you ; 
wherefore, serve God, and fear Him and obey Him : He will 
forgive you your past sins, and will grant you respite until a 
determined time ; for God's determined time when it cometli, 
shall not be deferred ; if ye were men of understanding ye 
would know this. And Noah said, Lord, verily I have 
called the people night and day ; but my calling only 
increaseth their aversion : and whensoever I call them to the 
true faith, that Thou mayest forgive them, they put their 
fingers in their ears, and cover themselves with their 
garments, and persist in their infidelity, and proudly disdain 
my counsel. Moreover, I invited them openly, and I spake 
to them again in public ; and I also secretly admonished 
them in private : and I said, Beg pardon of your Lord : for 
He is inclined to forgive ; and He will cause the heavens to 
pour down rain plentifully upon you, and will give you 
increase of wealth and of children ; and He will provide you 
gardens, and furnish you with rivers. What aileth you, that 
ye hope not for benevolence in God : since He hath created 
you. Do ye not see how God hath created the heavens, and 
hath placed the moon therein for a light, and hath appointed 
the sun as a taper ? God hath also provided and caused you 
to spring forth from the earth : hereafter He will cause you 
to return unto the same : and He will again take you thence. 


by bringing you fortli from your graves. And God liatb 
spread the earth as a carpet for you, that ye may walk 
therein, through spacious paths. And Noah said, — Lord, 
verily they are disobedient to me, and they follow him whose 
riches and children do no other than increase his 
perdition." " 

Ages rolled on, the world was re-peopled, and again the 

nations perverted the true faith and lapsed into idolatry, 

and once more the Almighty sent another distinguished 

prophet to call the people from their sin and to point out to them 

the primitive faith ; this was the patriarch Abraham. The father 

of Abraham was undoubtedly an idolater, even the Christian 

scriptures represent him as having served strange gods 

(Joshua xxiv., v. 2-14), and since Abraham's parents were 

idolaters, it appears to be a necessary consequence that he also 

was one in his younger days, and this is not only intimated 

in the book of Joshua, but acknowledged by the Jews.f At 

what age he came to the knowledge of the true God and left 

idolatry opinions vary. Some Jewish writers place it at the 

early age of 3 years, I but others consider him to have been a 

middle aged man at that time. Maimonides, in particular, 

and Kabbi Abraham Zacuth, think him to have been 40 years 

old, which age is also mentioned by several of the learned 

commentators of the Koran. The general opinion of the 

Moslem doctors of theology is that he was about 15 or 16 

. years old. |I The story of Abraham's conversion is thus 

given in the Koran. (Sura 6. Cattle) 

* The story of Noah is aUuded to in Suras 7, 10, 11, 26, 29. 51, 56, and 
71 of the Koran. 

t Joseph, Ant. i. i. c. 7. Maimon, More Neo. part III. c. 29. 
+ Taachuma, Talmud, Nedarim, 32 i. et apud Maimon. 
II Vide Hyde de rehgiou. Veb. Persar, pp. 60, 61. 


'* And thus did we show unto Abraham the kingdom of 
heaven and earth, that he might become one of those who 
firmly beHeve. 

" And when the night overshadowed him he saw a star, and 
he said. This is my Lord ; but when it set, he said, I hke not 
gods which set. And when he saw the moon rising, he said,. 
This is my Lord ; but when it set, he said. Verily if my Lord 
direct me not, I shall become as one of the people who ga 

" And when he saw the sun rising, he said, This is my Lord, 
this is the greatest ; but when it set, he said, my people, 
verily I am clear of that which ye associate with God : I 
direct my face unto Him who hath created the heavens and 
the earth. I am orthodox, and am not one of the idolaters. 
And his people disputed with him, and he said : 

" Will ye dispute with me concerning God ? since he hath 
now directed me, I fear not that which ye associate with him, 
unless that my Lord willeth a thing ; for my Lord compre- 
hendeth all things by his knowledge ; will ye not therefore 
consider ? And how should I fear that which ye associate 
with God, since ye fear not to have associated with God that 
concerning which He hath sent down unto you no authority ? 
Which, therefore, of the two parties is the more safe, if ye 
understand aright ? They who believe, and clog not their 
faith with injustice, they shall enjoy security and be rightly 

It is worthy of observation en passant, as external corro- 
borative evidence of the strict accuracy of the Koranical 
narrative, that the idolatrous religion wherein Abraham was 
educated was doubtless the Sabian, which consisted chieflv in 
the worship of the heavenly bodies, and naturally being a 
man of a logical mind he would examine their nature and 


properties ; and tlie star wliicli lie observed was probably- 
one of the planets Venus, Mercury, or Jupiter. The method 
of Abraham's attaining to the knowledge of the Supreme 
Creator of the Universe given in the Koran is also conform- 
able to the Talmudic tradition ^^ and to the writings of 
Josephus i 

The next distinguished prophet through whom the Deity 
again re-taught His will to mankind was Moses. We need 
not dwell at any length on the ministrations of Moses, as the 
account given in the Koran is so similar to that of the Chris- 
tian scriptures that it would be simply retelling a well-known 
tale ; but the advice given by Moses unto the people is one 
which we all can take to heart and apply to ourselves. " Ask 
assistance of God, and suffer patiently ; for the earth is God's, 
He giveth it for an inheritance unto such of his servants as 
He pleaseth ; and the prosperous end shall be unto those that 
fear Him." | 

The fifth of the series of super-eminent prophets is Jesus, 
He whom Christians adore as their saviour, and rank equally 
with God. This, indeed, is the great difference between the 
Christian belief and the faith of Islam. The ordinary Chris- 
1 tian, not too well versed in the curious and intricate theology 
lof his sect, has a vague idea that he believes in " The Trinity," 
and when asked of what this consists, he will reply, " The 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," and perhaps may add by way of 
explanation, '* Three persons, but one God." When asked 
to explain this seeming inconsistency he will retort that it is 
a mystery, and if a Catholic or an English Episcopalian, may 
refer one to that truly Christian and Charitable proclamation 

* Vide Bertolocc, Bibb. Rabb. part 1, p. 640. 
f Josephus, Ant. of the Jews, book 1, chap 7. 
\ Sura 7. 


known as tlie Athanasian creed, which, after summing up and 
declaring the essentials of the Catholic faith, concludes by- 
consigning to everlasting perdition those who cannot accept 
every line, word, and syllable of that creed. The poet Byron 
has in his characteristic satirical style, cleverly described the 
feelings of the orthodox Christian on this matter in the 
following lines : — 

" So now all things are d-n'd, one feels at ease 
As after reading Athanasius' curse, 
Which doth your true believer so much please : 
I doubt if any now could make it worse, 
O'er his worst enemy, when at his knees, 
'Tis so sententious, positive and terse, " 

And decorates the book of Common Prayer, 
As doth a rainbow the just clearing air." * 

The word "Trinity" is not a scriptural term, and is 
nowhere to be found in the Christian scriptures ; it was intro- 
duced into the Church in the second century, to express the 
belief in the union of the three persons in the Godhead. 

The great theological writers are unable to explain this 
theory, and their treatises on the subject generally consist of 
apologies, or of declarations that it is an incomprehensible 
mystery. Dr. Robinson pens his feelings thus, " Equally 
above the boldest flight of human genius to invent, as beyond 
the most extended limit of human intellect fully to compre- 
hend, is the profound mystery of the ever Blessed Trinity." 

If Dr Robinson is right, and such a mystery is " beyond 
the boldest flight of hum in genius to invent," then the 
almost similar belief in Scandanavian and Ancient Egyptian 
mythology, in the Platonic school, and in modern Hindoo 
theology, must also be not of human invention but of Divine 
revelation. A proposition, we fancy, that Christians will not 

Byron, "Don Juan," Canto G, Stanza 23. 


"be likely to accede to. Another writer* thus alludes to the 
same subject, ** Even among Christians the sacred Trinity is 
more properly a subject of belief than of investigation; and 
every attempt to penetrate into it, further than God in His 
holy word has expressly revealed, is at best an injudicious, 
and often a dangerous, effort of mistaken piety.'' No ; well- 
meaning, enquiring, pious Christian brethren, you must not 
attempt to penetrate this mystery. You must swallow it 
wholly without enquiry or investigation, and if your 
<;ommonsense revolts against such treatment be comforted 
by the enunciation of the inflexible sentence that this is the 
Catholic faith," which faith, except every one do keep whole 
and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly." f 
Strange as it may appear to Christians, it is no less a fact 
I "that throughout the whole of the Christian scriptures there 
\ is no passage which directly proves the doctrine of the 
Trinity but ooe, and that is (1 John, v. 7.) " There are three 
that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the 
Holy Ghost ; and these three are one." And it is a 
remarkable fact that the Kevision Committee have expunged 
this passage from the Revised Testament, giving as their 
reason that it could not honestly be left in. The Eevision 
Committee are supported in their action by the works of 
Newton, Gibbon, Porson, and others who all prove that this 
text was an interpolation ; and Oalmet.t himself acknowledges, 
that ^^ this verse is not to be found in any ancient copy of the 

* " Adams' Religious World Displayed." 

t Atbanasian Creed. 

\ Augustine Calmet was a learned French theologian and historian, 

born in Lon-aiue in 1672, and died in Paris in 1757. At au early age he 

became a Benedictine mouk, and studied philosophy and theology in 

various abbeys of that learned order. He wrote copiously on subjects of 


Our readers may also, while on this subject, consider the 
reply given by Christ himself to a certain ruler who put this 
question to him, " Good Master, what shall I do to inherit 
everlasting life ? " And Jesus said unto him, " Why calleth 
thou me good; none is good save one— that is God." (Luke 
xvii, V. 18-19). They who contend that Christ is the One 
whom he thus distinguished from himself ought to ponder well 
over this passage. 

So much for the Christian doctrine of the Trmity, and the 
deification by them of the great teacher Jesus. Let us now 
see what is the faith of Islam on this point, and by way of 
premise we feel justified in asserting that, to human intelli- 
gence, the idea of a God-man, or a man-God, is in itself an 
illogical absurdity. It is not a reasonable idea, or conception* 
but the confusion, blurred and undefined of two separate 
ideas or conceptions which are each mutually exclusive of one 
another. Moslems believe that in God there is no contra- 
diction. The Almighty Creator in his unerring wisdom has 
endowed us with reasoning faculties. All knowledge comes 
from reason. Granted that our reason may possibly be very 

Bacred learning, in the form of commentaries and dissertations. His 
commentaries were published in French at Paris in 23 vols., quarto, in 
1707-16 and extended to all the books of the Old and New Testament. 
His writings and publications were exceedingly numerous, not only in 
biblical literature, but also in history, topography, genealogy, biography, 
and antiquites. The works by which he is best known are " Dictionnaire 
Historique et Critique de la Bible," Paris 1730, which has been translated 
into English, German, Italian and Dutch ; the English translation 
appeared in 1732, and '• Tresor d'Antiquites Sacrees et Profanes," Paris 
1720-22. As a biblical scholar Calmet was more distinguished for 
erudition than for critical acumen, and he was deficient in the 
departments of rabbinical learning and oriental philology. The two works 
named above have always been highly esteemed, not only in his own 
church, but also by Protestant theologians. 


circumscribed, nevertheless it is to us, so far as it goes, the 
distinct voice of God's own undeniable truth. It may not be 
able to measure the infinities and eternities ; that is within the 
power of God alone, but in what it is reasonably capable of 
deciding there we may trust it as we would trust the 
Deity himself. And it is a plain matter of simple common- 
sense and reason, entirely within the limits of our own 
understanding, that the same person cannot be both God 
and man. 

What is man ? A creature undoubtedly gifted with wonder- 
ful and noble endowments, yet of finite power in eveiy con- 
ceivable direction. He is limited in physical strength, in 
intellectual understanding, in knowledge and in the stretch 
and scope of his affections. And not only is he limited in all 
these things, but in every one of them he commences with 
a very small beginning, and as years roll by he grows not only 
in body but also in mind and in feelings. The very con- 
ception of a man is that of a finite and growing being ; and 
if Christ was man, he was a finite and growing being ; 
and if he was not a finite and growing being, whether, as 
Christians claim he was the Deity, or otherwise, then at least 
he was not man. 

Now let us look at the other side of the picture. What is 
God ? What is this other nature which Christian theologians 
tell us was combined with the natural fiian in Jesus ? What 
bat the infinite, undefinable, Omnipoteat Power, that sustains 
and controls the brilliant orbs of heaven and penetrates the 
Universe ; *' unto whom belongeth the kingdom of heaven and 
of earth ; who hath created all things, and disposed the same 
according to His determinate will ? "^' 

Had this God a beginning ? 

* Sura 25, " Al Forkau." Korau. 


Has there ever been in God, growth, gradual enlargement 
of capacity, and rising by degrees to an acme of faculty not 
grasped primarily ? 

No, a thousand times repeated. No. Perish the mere 
transient thought of such a slur upon the dignity of God, 
** the One God ; the Eternal God, who begetteth not, neither 
is he begotten ; and there is not anyone like unto Him." * 
What then of this so-called '• holy mystery," this " God- 
man/' which your Christian creeds claim to be •* perfect 
man and perfect God '? " 

If he is perfect man, then he is limited in every faculty ! ! 

If he is perfect God, then he is not limited in any faculty 
whatever ! ! 

As man, he grew from the impotence and ignorance of in- 

As God, he was all powerful and complete from all eternity 
^nd never grew. 

Christian you are on the horns of a dilemma. 

Don't try and explain it by the cant phrase and parrot cry 
of " It is a mystery and therefore must be believed." 

There is no mystery about it at all, except the wonder that 
anyone should be such an arrant stupid as to believe it. 

It is sheer nonsense, pure unadulterated folly, and 
nothing but a flat contradiction. 

Commonseuse and reason repels against being humbugged 
with an apparent absurdity. 

From this jargon of unmeaning bosh, which is derogatory 
not only to the character of Christ, but also to the dignity of 
God himself, let us turn to the Koran, and there we will find 
a logical explanation of the true nature of Jesus. 

* Sura 112. " The Declaration of God's Unity." Koran. 



Verily Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, is the apostle of 
God, and His Word, which He conveyed into Mary, by a 
spirit proceeding from Him. 

Believe, therefore, in God and His apostles, and say not 
there are three Gods ; forbear this, it will be better for you. 
God is but one God. 

Far be it from Him that He should have a son ! 

Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth ; 
and God is a sufficient protector. Christ doth not proudly 
disdain to be a servant unto God ; neither the angels who 
approach near to His presence. 

God declareth unto you these precepts, lest ye err : and 
God knoweth all things." * 

" Christ, the son of Mary, is no more than an apostle ; other 
apostles have preceded him ; and his mother was a veritable- 
woman ; i they both ate food." | 

Probably the orthodox Christian will strongly protest 
against this, and will vehemently decry us, because, as he 
puts it, we make Christ " a mere man ; " but surely this is a 
hasty and ill-considered expression, the adjective *' mere " 
cannot be applicable ; as if man necessarily is a miserable, 
creature — poor, low, mean and contemptible. Man is a 
being that communes with the Almighty God, whom 
the most merciful and compassionate Deity loves with 
an infinite love, to whom the mighty God speaks 
through conscience and by every witness of the beauti- 
ful and true, a being with the capacity of offering 
I)rayer, and whose prayers have the due consideration of 

* Sura 4, "Women." Koran, 
f i.e., Never pretending to partake of the Divine nature, or to be the 
mother of God. 

+ Sura 5, " The Table." Koran. 


Allah himself. God is man's Creator ; man is a creature 
created by God. And therefore when we say that Christ 
was a man, and a pro^ohet, we do him no dishonour. We 
admit that he had in a superlative degree some of the greatest 
endowments the Almighty Creator has given to any creature. 
Are we Moslems, therefore, not fully justified in saying with 
all tenderness and kindness, but with the unswerving 
firmness of the most supreme conviction, that this illogical 
fancy of Christians, of this unexplainable anachronism, a 
** God- Christ " has stood in the way of the proper under- 
standing of the actual nature of the true God, and held many 
men aloof from professing any form of religion ? 

Christians dub all persons who are unable to accept this 
curious and unnatural dogma of the divinity of Christ as 
"infidels." The Mussulman smiles at their bigotry and 
credulity, and replies, " They are surely infidels, who say, 
Verily God is Christ the son of Mary ; since Christ said, 
0, children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord." * 

The prophet Jesus poured out his whole heart in pleading 
with men to go straight to God with their love, confidence and 
prayer. He never put himself between them, and even if we 
take the record of the Christian Gospel itself we find there 
that when he taught his disciples how to pray he bade them 
say " Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy 
name, forgive us our trespasses, &c." f 

The last and greatest of all the prophets Moslems believe 
to be Mahomet, who was born at Mecca on the 10th April, in 
the year 569 of the Christian era. His family was of the 
illustrious tribe of the Koreish, one of the most influential 

* Sura 5. " The Table." Koran, 
t Gospel of Matthew, chap. vi. verses 9 to 13 ; also, Luke, chap. xi. reraes 

2 to 4. Christian Bible. 


tribal families tlirougliout Arabia, claiming as it did, to be 
descended from Ishmael, the eldest son of Abraham, and his 
grandfather was custodian of the Kaaba, the head quarters 
and temple of Arabian idolatry.* His father, whose name 
was Abdullah, died before his birth ; he lost his mother when 
but six years old, and then fell to the charge of his uncle 
Abu Talib. He was of a very delicate constitution, and 
excessively sensitive to bodily pain. It was while under the 
care of this uncle, who treated him in every respect as one 
of his own children, that Mahomet began to exhibit indica- 
tions of an intelligent and inquiring mind. He was very 
fond of indulging in solitary meditation, and on one of his 
playmates requesting him to join in their amusements he 
replied, " Man is created for a nobler purpose than indulging 
in frivolous pursuits." He possessed wonderful powers of 
imagination, great elevation of mind, and delicacy and refine- 
ment of feeling. He was of an excessively amiable and affec- 
tionate disposition, fond of children, given to almsgiving, self- 
denying, and unpretending in social intercourse. According 

» Before Mahomet's time the Kaaba was the place of worship and 

pilgrimage of the idolatrous Arabs and contained 360 idols, equalling the 

number of days in the Arabian year. There was a tradition to the effect 

that it had been erected by Abraham and Ishmael. More authentic 

history, however, placed the period of its erection at 993 years before that 

of Solomon's temple, or 2000 years before the Christian era. This building 

still exists though now divested of its idols and consecrated to the worship 

of the true God. The ceiling is supported by pillars of aloe- wood, between 

which hang silver lamps, while a golden spout carries off the rain water 

from the roof. The walls are hung on the outside with black damask, 

ornamented with a gold band, which is changed annually. The great 

traveller Burckhardt, describing the Kaaba at the present day, says, " The 

effect of the whole scene, the mysterious drapery, the profusion of gold and 

silver, the blaze of lamps, and the kneeling multitude, surpasses anything 

the imagination could have pictured." 


to tradition he was of middle height, and dignified and 
imposing in appearance.-- As to acquired learning in the 
ordinary acceptance of the word, it must be admitted that 
Mahomet had none at all, in fact that he was so ignorant of 
what we term book learning that he could neither read nor 
write ; this fact is alluded to in the 29th Sura of the Koran in 
the following passage: " Thou couldst not read any book 
before this ; neither could thou write it with thy right hand." 

When about forty years of age Mahomet withdrew, as had 
been his custom to do annually for some preceding years, to 
a dark cave in Mount Hira,f (" a huge barren rock, torn by 
cleft and hollow ravine, standing out solitary in the full 
white glare of the desert sun, shadowless, flowerless, without 
well or rill.") about one hour's journey from Mecca. Here 
,in this cave he continued for about a month, sitting alone, 
occupying his time with religious meditation. While thus 
passing in this grotto the month of Ramazan, he lay wrapped 
in his mantle during the silent watches of the night. About 
midnight he heard a voice : twice was it repeated, and twice 
he made efforts to avoid hearing it, but it could not be 
ignored ; he felt as if a fearful weight were upon him, and 
as though his last moment had arrived. A third time he 
heard the sound, and could not stop his ears against it ; 
uncovering his head, a flood of light suddenly broke in upon 
him of such intolerable splendour that he swooned away. On 
regaining his senses he beheld before him an angel in human 
form, who thus addressed him : 

" Oh, Mahomet, I am Gabriel ! " 
The angel then displayed a silken cloth covered with written 

* "Islam, Its Genius and mission." — Lake. 
t Now called the Mount of Light. 


"Read!" said the angel. 
*• I know not how to read J " repHed Mahomet. " I am a 
man untaught." 

The answer of the angel is preserved in the 9Gth Sura of 
the Koran. 

** Read ! in the name of God ! 

In the name of God who hath created all things — who hath 
created man from a clot of blood. 

Read in the name of the most beneficent God, who taught 
man the use of the pen ! 

Who taught man what he knew not ! 

Verily, verily, man is rebellious : 

Is insolent because he groweth in riches. 

True unto God is the return of all ! 

"What of him who holdeth back, who forbiddeth a servant , 
when he prayeth ? 

What of him ? Doth he follow right, or command unto 
piety ? 

Dost not see that he rejecteth truth and turneth back ? 

Doth he not know that God seeth ? 

Verily, verily, if he desist not we will drag him by the 
forelock : 

The lying, sinful forelock. 

Let him call his assembly : 

We will call the guards of the Abyss ! 

Nay, obey him not, but adore and draw nigh ! " 

The angel ceased, and Mahomet instantly felt his under- 
standing illumined with celestial light, and looking at the 
cloth, read the decrees of the Almighty written upon it, which 
were afterwards promulgated in the Koran. When he had 
finished the perusal, the heavenly messenger again spoke and 
said, '• Oh, Mahomet, truly thou shalt be the prophet of God, 


■even as I am His angel Gabriel," and vanished. Terrified at 
this vision, as soon as the day had dawned * Mahomet 
hastened home, trembling and agitated, and narrated to his 
wife Khadijah the events of the night, adding that he was 
perplexed, not knowing whether what he bad heard and seen 
was true, and that he was decreed to be a prophet and in- 
strumental in effecting a reform in religion ; or whether it 
might not be a dream, or a delusion of the senses, or worse 
than all, the apparition of an evil spirit. Khadijah, however, 
with the acute penetration of feminine nature, saw what had 
occurred in its true light, and exclaimed: "Joyful tidings 
-dost thou bring ! By Him, in whose hand is the soul of 
Khadijah, I shall henceforth regard thee as the 
prophet of our nation. Rejoice, dear husband, and 
be of good cheer, God will not suffer thee to fall to 
shame. Hast not thou been loving to thy kinsfolk, 
kind to thy neighbours, charitable to the ]30or, hospit- 
able to the stranger, faithful to thy word, and ever a defender 
of the truth?" 

Khadijah hastened to communicate what she had heard to a 
kinsman of hers named Warika, son of Naufal, who was old 
and blind, and '* knew the scriptures of the Jews and 
Christians," and he also accepted at once, and with eagerness, 
this miraculous annunciation. 

" God be praised !" exclaimed Warika, " the son of 
Abdullah speaks the truth ; there shall come unto Mahomet 
the great law, like unto the law of Moses ; verily this is the 
messenger who came to Moses. Thy husband will be the 
prophet of his people. Tell him this : Charge him to keep 
hope in his heart ; I will stand by him ! " f 

* This was the morning of tlie 24th of Ramazan. 
t " The Saracens," by the Rev. A. Gilman. 


Subsequently tlie two men met in the street, and then the 
hUod old student of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures,, 
who had searched in them for consolation and found none, 
but who knew of the promise therein held out to mankind of 
a Deliverer and a Comforter, * grasped Mahomet by his 
hand and said " I swear by Him in whose hand Warika's 
life is, God has chosen thee to be the prophet of this people. 
The Holy messenger has come to thee. They will call thee 
a liar, they will persecute thee, they will banish thee, they 
will fight against thee. Oh that I could live to those days : 
I would fight for thee," and so saying he kissed him on liis- 
forehead. f 

Despite these assurances, Mahomet at first still was- 
perplexed and anxious ; he felt that he had been spoken 
to by Gabriel, and the words he had read were still 
imprinted on his heart, but he was not yet sure that 
his mission was to preach; added to which certain of 
the Koreishites ridiculed him. In this condition of" 
perplexity he sought the wild mountain side, and sat 
wrapped in his cloak, pondering over the past events. 

While thus musing the angel again appeared to him and. 
said : 

'^ Oh thou that art covered ! 

Arise and preach. 

And magnify God ! 

Purify thy garments. 

And shun abominations ; 

* Deuteronomy, Chap, xviii, v. 15, 18 & 19 (Jewish Pentateuch). 
Quoted by Christians in Acts, Chap, iii, v. 22 to 24, and Chap. vii. v. 37, 
but by them mistakenly applied to Christ. See also Gospel of John, Chap, 
xvi, V. 7 to 13 (Christian New Testament). 

t Rouzat-us-Safa — Ibn Hisham, p. 103. Warika died soon after this. 



Grant not favours for increase ; 

Wait patiently for God. 

When the trumpet shall sound, Verily that day shall he 
distress and uneasiness for the unhelievers." " 

Mahomet now felt that he was in direct communication 
with the angel, and messenger of God, and that he had been 
commissioned to preach, and would he taught what to say. 
He rose superior to all his former trembling forbodiug and 
exultingly cried : f 

" By the splendour of midday ! 

By the stilly night ! 

The Lord hath not forsaken thee, 

Neither doth He hate thee ! 

Verily the life to come shall be better than the present one I 

In the end God shall reward thee, 

And thou shalt be pleased. 

Did He not find thee an orphan, and give thee a home ? 

Find thee erring, and guide thee ? 

He found thee poor and made thee rich. 

Wherefore oppress not the orphan, 

Nor repel the beggar, 

But declare the great bounty of God ! " :j: 

Mahomet returned home and began at first to quietly dis- 
seminate the truth ; his wife, a young nephew Ali, and a few 
of his immediate relations early believed in him ; but his 
family generally treated his pretensions with contempt. It is 
strongly corroborative of Mahommed's sincerity, that the 
earliest converts to Islam were his bosom friends and the people 
of his household, who, all intimately acquainted as they must 

* Sura 74. " The Covered." 

t " The Saracens," Gilmau. 

J Sura 93, " The Brightness " Koran. 


liave been with the secrets of his private Hfe, coukl not have 
failed to have detected those discrepancies, which in a greater 
or less degree invariably exist between the pretensions of the 
hypocritical deceiver in public, and his actions in the privacy 
of his own home. 

For the next few years Mahomet's life was passed in a con- 
tinual state of insult, ridicule and persecution, which extended 
also to his few disciples. Once, indeed, his opponents made 
offers of wealth or of leadership if he would abandon his 
purpose. The prophet replied by reciting the 41st Sura of the 
Koran, one verse of which runs : — 

" If a lure from Satan entice thee, then 
Take thou refuge in God, for He is the 
Hearing, the AUwise." 

Mahomet's adversaries answered this by requesting him to 
work a miracle in proof of his divine mission : but he refused, 
saying that he was sent to spread the truth, and not to perform 
miracles ; and at the same time, challenging the unbelievers to 
produce any work which could rival even a single chapter of 
the Koran, in either beauty or sublimity. 

No proof, indeed, has ever been adduced, that Mahomet at 
a,ny time descended to any artifices or pseudo-miracles to 
■enforce his doctrines, or to establish his claim to be one of 
the prophets of God. On the contrary, he relied entirely 
upon common sense, reason and eloquence, and supported by 
the inate conviction of the inspiration of the Almighty he 
continued his work, in the teeth of all the opposition which 
ignorance or fanaticism offered to its progress. 

Mahomet thus preached publicly in Mecca, daily adding to 
the number of his disciples, his favourite places for preaching 
being the hills of Safa and Kubeis, both in the neighbourhood 
of the city. At last his opponents became angry and 
attempted to silence him by force and threats of violence. 


When the opposition was assuming its fiercest character, the 
courage of Mahomet arose. His uncle endeavoured to 
persuade him from pursuing the matter further ; but the 
prophet had made his decision and repHed, " That if they set 
the sun against him on his right hand, and the moon on his 
left, he would not leave his enterprise." * 

Persecution increased at Mecca against Mahomet and his 
disciples, and at last the proi^het advised his followers to seek 
safety by flight to Medina, where there resided a number of 
converts to Islam. Most of the Moslems accepted this 
advice and left Mecca ; but Mahomet remained behind still 
preaching and declaring the doctrine of the Unity of God. 
At length his enemies determined to assassinate him, and 
a body of desperate villains set out to murder him as he 
slept ; but before they had reached his house Mahomet 
was divinely warned of the impending danger, and the 
prophet went to the house of Abu Beker, and arranged 
with him for instant flight. The murderous gang 
arrived at Mahomet's dwelling, and peeping through 
a crevice of the door, j)6rceived, as they thought, the 
prophet lying asleep on his couch wrapped in his green 
mantle. They waited for awhile, consulting whether to fall 
on him while sleeping or wait until he should go forth. At 
length they burst open the door and rushed towards the 
couch. The sleeper started up ; but instead of Mahomet, 
Ali stood before them. Astounded and amazed, they cried, 
*' Where is Mahomet ? " ** I know not ! I am not his 
keeper ! " replied Ali, sternly, and walked forth ; nor did 
they venture to molest him. f 

• "Islam, Its Genius and Mission." — Lake. 
t Irving's " Life of Mahomet." 


In tlie meanwhile the prophet and Abu Beker, profiting by 
the darkness of the niglit, left Mecca and secreted themselves 
in a cave at the foot of Mount Thor, a hill to the south of 
Mecca. The fury of the idolatrous Koreish was now un- 
bounded. The intelligence that the band of would-be 
assassins had been unsuccessful, and that the prophet had 
escaped, aroused their whole energy. Horsemen mounted on 
swift steeds scoured the country. A price was set upon 
Mahomet's head, f 

Scarce had the fugitives got within the cave when they 
heard the distinct sounds of pursuit. Abu Beker, although 
a brave man, now became fearful lest their place of refuge 
should be discovered. " Our pursuers," said he, " are many, 
and we are but two." 

" Nay," replied Mahomet, " we are three; God is with us, 
and He will protect us." 

The fugitives remained for three days undiscovered in the 
cave, and on the fourth day Mahomet set out for Medina, 
and on arrival there was received by the inhabitants more as 
a conqueror returning in triumph than a fugitive exile seeking 
an asylum. 

Prior to entering Medina, Mahomet had rested at a village 
called Koba, in order to be fully assured that his proposal to 
take up his abode there would be agreeable to the inhabi- 
tants. Being assured that such was the case, he determined 
to remove thence on the following Friday. By that time the 
faithful Ali, who had been severely maltreated by the idolaters 
after their disappointment at the escape of the prophet, had 
arrived and accompanied him. In the morning the prophet 
mounted his favourite camel, with Abu Beker behind him. A 

t The blood money offered was the value of a hundred camels, vide Ibn- 
Hasham, p. 328; Ibn-alAthir, vol. II., p. 81. 


host of followers surrounded them ; a powerful chieftain at the 
head of seventy horsemen acted as a guard of honour ; others 
of the faithful took turns in holding a canopy of palm leaves 
over his head ; one enthusiastic follower unfolded his green 
turban, and tying it to the point of his lance bore it along as 
a standard. * 

In passing it is worthy of notice that all Moslem historians 
calculate the years from the date of Mahomet's flight to 
Medina, which is called the " Hegira," and is considered the 
first year of the Moslem era. This of course is similar to 
Christians calculating their years from the traditionary date 
of the birth of Christ, f 

At Mecca Mahomet had been persecuted and derided, but 
at Medina all was changed. As the men of this city of refuge 
came to know him they devoted themselves to him heart and 
soul ; " No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man 
in a cloak of his own clouting." | And yet with all this he 
still remained the same noble, but yet humble, true-hearted 

He went out for the last time into the mosque, two days 
before his death, and publicly, before the assembled worship- 
pers, asked, " Have I injured any man ? If so, let my own 
back bear the stripes." No one answered. " Do I owe any 
man ought ? " A voice answered, " Yes, me three drachms," 
borrowed on such an occasion. Mahomet ordered them to be 
paid. '' Better be in shame now," said he, ** than at the Day 
of Judgment." 

* Hence the colour of the Sacred Standard of Islam (Green). 

fThe decree appointing the "Hegira" or " flight " as the first year of 
the Moslem era was made hy the Caliph Omar, some years after the death 
of the Prophet. The Arabian year was and is a lunar one, and commences 
on the first of the month of Moharram. — Crichtoa's " History of Arabia." 
\ Carlyle, " Heroes and Hero Worship." 


Space will not permit us to further extend this sketch of 
the life and work of Mahomet ; suffice it to say that tlie first 
small company multiplied to thousands and tens of thousands 
until the whole of Arabia knelt to worship the true God. The 
prophet felt that his time on earth was drawing to a close, 
and he spent his last days in prayer and praise. Finally, the 
time of his departure to the heavenly regions arrived, and 
lying on his couch he sighed : "Oh God, succour me in the 
agonies of death; come Thou close to Thy servant." His wife 
prayed by his side, and, as she prayed, the prophet muttered : 
" Oh God, grant Thy servant pardon of his sins and join him 
to the companionship on high . . . Eternity in paradise 
. . . . Pardon . . . Yes ... I come . . . 
The companionship of the blessed on high !" and thus- 
peaceably expired on a carpet spread upon the floor. '■'- The 
prophec's soul was with his God. It was Monday, Jane 8th, 
in the year 632 of the Christian era, and in the tenth year 
after the Hegira. 

" Thus died the only man in the world's history who was 
at once a poet, prophet, and legislator : the founder of a 
religion and an empire." f 

Much has been written by various Christian writers upon 
the character of Mahomet, and most of their productions have 
been tinged with an amount of bigotry and rancour which it 
is regrettable to observe among persons who profess to be fol- 
lowers of the " meek and lowly Jesus." Some writers, 
however, of modern times, have come to learn that vitupera- 
tion is not argument, and have admitted the many excellencies 
of the prophet's character, and the mightiness of his work. 
On this subject Mr. John Davenport, in his excellent work 

* Gibbon's " History of the Decline and Fall of the Komau Empire," 
t " The Saracens." — Gilman. 


** Mahomet and the Koran," ^^ writes, " The more insight is 
obtained from undoubted historical sources as to the real 
character of Mohammed, the less reason will there be found to 
justify the strong and vituperative language poured upon his 
head by Maracci, Prideaux and more recently by Frederick 
Schlegel and others." 

The view taken by Thomas Carlyle of the prophet is so 
original just and striking, that we cannot refrain from inserting 
it : — '' The deep-hearted son of the wilderness, with his beam- 
ing black eyes, and open, social, deep soul, had other thoughts 
in him tliau ambition. A silent, great soul; he was one of 
those who cannot but be in earnest : whom Nature herself has 
appointed to be sincere. While others walk in formulas and 
hearsays, contented enough to dwell therein, this man could 
not screeu himself in formulas ; he was alone with his wholo 
soul and the reality of things. The great mystery of existenco 
glared in upon him, with its terrors, with its splendours ; no 
hearsays could hide that uuspeakable fact, ' Here am I ! ' 
Such slncenhj, as we named it, has in truth something of divine. 
The word of such a man is a voice direct from Nature's own 
heart. Men do and must listen to that, or to nothing else ; 
all else is wind in comparison. From of old, a thousand 
thoughts in his pilgrimages and wanderings had been in this 
man. * What am I ? What is this unfathomable thing I 
live in, which men name Universe ? What is Life ? What is 
Death ? What am i to believe ? What am I to do ? ' The 
grim rocks of Mount Hara, of Mount Sinai, the stern sandy 
solitude answered not. The great heaven rolling silently over 
head with its blue glanciug stars, answered not. There was 
no answer. The man's own soal, and what of God's inspira- 
tion dwelt therein, had to answer I " 

* Pul)lished by J. Davy & Sous, 137, Loug Acre, Loudon, 1882 (Note to 
page 53). 


Let us now briefly proceed to set forth the tenets of Islam 
■not previously alluded to. 

We have already seen that the great leading principle of 
Islam is the belief in one God in unity and an abhorrence of 
idolatry in any form. We have also alluded to the six dis- 
tinguished and super-eminent prophets ; in addition to these 
ihere are a host of minor prophets such as David, Solomon, 
Ezra, Job, Zacharias, John, Elias, Ismail, Edris, Hud, and 
many others. * 

The other primary doctrines are, Faith in God's holy 
angels, or ministering spirits. They are various in their 
degrees and duties, and in their favour with the Deity. Some 
worship around the celestial throne ; others perpetually 
hymn the praises of God ; some are winged messengers to 
•execute His orders, and others intercede on behalf of mankind. 
The most distinguished of this heavenly host are the four 
archangels — Gabriel, the angel of revelations, who writes 
-down the divine decrees ; Michael, the champion, who fights 
the battles of the faith ; Azrail, the angel of death ; and 
Israfil, who holds the awful commission to sound the trumpet 
on the day of resurrection. Among the angels of inferior 
ranli is a class named Moakidbat, two of whom keep watch 
upon each mortal — one on the right hand, the other on the 
left — taking note of every word and action. At the close of 
each day they ascend to heaven with their written report, 
and are replaced by two similar angels on the following day. 
According to Moslem tradition, every good action is recorded 
ten times by the angel on the right ; and if the mortal 
commit a sin, the same benevolent spirit says to the angel on 

* David, Solomon, Job, and several of the other names given in the 
text are mentioned in the 6th Sura ; Ismail and Edris are alluded to in 
the lyth Sura, Hud in the 23rd Sura. 


-the left, "Forbear for seven hours to record it; peradventure 
he may repent and pray and obtain forgiveness." 

Another article of belief is in the holy books of divine 
revelation, and particularly in the latest revealed one which 
is known as the " Koran." 

The word Koran is derived from the verb kaara, to read, 
and signifies literally in Arabic, " the reading," or rather 
*' that which ought to be read." The Koran is divided into 
114 larger portions of very unequal length, which are termed 
Sowar or Suras, answering to chapters. Every chapter is 
sub-divided into small portions, or verses, which are also of 
Si very unequal length. Each Sura is known by a distinctive 
name or title, which is taken sometimes from a particular 
matter treated of, or person mentioned therein ; but usually 
from the first word of note in the Sura. 

Next after the title, at the head of every chajpter, except 
only the ninth, is prefixed the following solemn form generally 
•called the " Bismillah," " In the name of the most merciful 

The Koran is universally allowed to be written with the 
utmost elegance and purity of language, and is confessedly 
the standard of the Arabic tongue. The stjde is generally 
beautiful and fluent, especially where it assumes the prophetic 
character. A considerable portion of the book is composed 
of historical references to the works of God, and the acts of 
His XDrophets in former times. The other part is taken up in 
the declaring of necessary laws and directions, in frequent 
admonitions to moral and divine virtues, and above all to the 
worshipping and reverencing of the only true God, and resig- 
nation to His will.''' 

* Sale's Korau, " The Preliminary Discourse." 


From a literary point of view, apart from its claims to be an 
inspired volume, the Koran is the most poetical work of the 
East. The great portion of it is in a rhymed prose, conform- 
ablv to the taste which has, from the remotest times prevailed 
in the above portion of the globe. It abounds with splendid 
imagery and the boldest metaphors. Emerson, in many places 
in his writings, has spoken reverently of the Koran, and Goethe 
is of opinion that " The Koran is a work with whose dullness 
the reader is at first disgusted, afterwards attracted by its 
charms, and finally irresistibly ravished by its many 
beauties," while Carlyle says: "When once you get this 
Koran fairly off, the essential type of it begins to disclose 
itself ; and in this there is a merit quite other than the literary 
one. If a book come from the heart, it will contrive to reach 
other hearts : all art and authorcraft are of small amount ta 
that. One would say the primary character of the Karan is 
that of its (jenuinemss, of its being a bona fide book. Sincerity, 
in all senses, seems to me the merit of the Koran ; it is, after 
all, the first and last merit in a book ; gives rise to merits of 
all kinds — nay, at bottom, it alone can give rise to merit of 
anv kind." * 

Sir William Muir thus speaks of the sacred book : " The 
Koran aboinids with arguments drawn from Nature and Pro- 
vidence ; witli a view to prove the existence of God, as the 
Supreme Euler, and to enforce His sovereign claim on the 
obedience and gratitude of mankind. The retribution of 
good and evil in the world to come, the obligation to follow 
virtue and eschew vice ; the duty and happiness of the 
creature in worshipping and serving the Creator, and such 
like topics, are set forth in language of beauty and vigour, 
abounding often with real poetry. Thus, also, the reason- 

* "Heroes and Hero \\ors,h\i^."- -Carlyle. 


ableness of the Resurrection is taught by many forcible 
considerations, and especially by the analogy, so striking in 
southern chmes, of the earth long dry and dead, quickened 
suddenly into exuberant life by the copious rain from heaven." 
And Washington Irving, alluding to the same subject writes : 
" The Koran contains pure, elevated and benignant 
precepts," '■' 

The injunctions of the Koran are not confined to moral and 
religious duties. '-From the Atlantic to the Ganges," says 
Gibbon, " the Koran is acknowledged as the fundamental 
code, not only of theology, but of civil and criminal jurispru- 
dence, and the laws which regulate the actions and the 
property of mankind are governed by the immutable sanction 
of the will of God." In other words, the Koran is the general 
code of the Moslem world ; a social, civil, commercial, military, 
judicial, criminal, penal and yet religious code : by it every- 
thing is regulated, from the ceremonies of religion to those of 
daily life ; from the salvation of the soul to the health of the 
body ; from the rights of the general community to those of 
each individual ; from the interests of man to those of society ; 
from moraUty to crime ; from punishment here to that of the 
life to come, f " The Mahomedan Law is binding upon all, 
from the crowned head to the meanest subject; it is a law in- 
terwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned, and 
the most enlightened jurisprudence that ever existed in the 
world." I The Koran consequently differs materially from the 
Christian Bible, which, according to Combe, § *' contains no 
system of theology, but is composed chiefly of narratives, des- 

* " The Life of Mohammed." — Washington Irving. 
t" Mahomet and the Koran." — Davenport. 
X Edmund Burke. (Impeachment of Warren Hastings.) 
§ " Essay on the relation between Science and Religion." 


criptions, sublime effusions, of devotional emotions, and much 
sound morality, bound together by no striking logical con- 
nexion." Mahomet was so convinced of the danger attending 
priesthoods in political states, and of their tendency to corrupt 
all governments, that he disapproved of the continuance of 
any such institution, and desired that every Mussulman 
should possess a copy of the Koran, and be his own priest. 

Islam, therefore, is without a priesthood. The doctors of 
the law are the doctors of divinity, because the law is the 
Koran ; yet they are not supported by tithes nor church pro- 
perty ; their functions are not sacerdotal, but judicial. 

The Koran teaches that all men are equal in the sight of 
God : — " 0, men ! verily we have created you of a male and 
female : and we have divided you into peoples and tribes that 
ye might take knowledge one of another. Truly the most 
worthy of honour in the sight of God is he who feareth Him 
most. Verily, God is knowing and wise." * '* And if God had 
pleased He had surely made you all one people ; but He 
would test you by what He hath given to each. Be emulous 
then in good deeds. To God do ye all return." H 

*' Islam recognizes no distinction of race or colour ; black 
or white, citizens or soldiers, rulers or subjects, they are pe - 
fectly equal, not in theory only, but in practice. In the field 
or in the guest chamber, in the tent or in the palace, in the 
mosque or in the market, they mis without reserve and with- 
out contempt. The first Muezzin of Islam, a devoted 
adherent and an esteemed disciple, was a negro slave." || 

We need not allude to the Moslem belief in the resurrection 
and final judgment. In Paradise, and a system of rewards 

* Sura 49. " The Inner apartments." 

^ Sura 5. " The Table." 

II " Life and Teachings of Mahommed." Sjed Ameer All. 


and punishments ; and also in the doctrine of Predestination 
as anyone at all acquainted with ordinary Christian theology 
will comprehend thoroughly the meaning of these terms. 

The spirit of charity is strongly enjoined upon all true 
believers, as the following passage from the Koran will 
show : — 

" Serve God, and associate no creature with him : and show 
Ivindness unto parents, and relations, and orphans, and the 
poor, and your neighbour who is of kin to you, and also your 
neighbour who is a stranger, and to your familiar companion, 
and the traveller, and the captives whom your right hand 
shall possess ; for God loveth not the proud or vainglorious 
or the covetous, who recommend covetousness unto men, and 
conceal that of which God in His bounty hath given them, 
. . . and who bestow their wealth in charity to be seen 
of men." * 

And again in the following passage : — 

" The first give food unto the poor, and the orphan, and 
the bondsman, for His (i.e. God's) sake, saying, We feed you 
for God's sake only : we desire no recompense from you, nor 
any thanks. Wherefore God shall reward them.*' f i 

Almsgiving is especially enjoined as we have just seen, and j /| 
as the two following passages will show. ' 

" They will ask thee also what they shall bestow on alms ? - 
Answer what ye have to spare." I 
And again, 

" Who givetli Ills substance in alms, and by whom no 
benefit is bestowed on any that it may be compensated, but 
who bestoweth the same for the sake of the Lord, the Most 

* Sura 4. f Sura 76. J Sura 2. 




High, hereafter he shall be well satisfied with his reward." * 

The morality of the Koran, is of the highest character : 

Evil speaking is condemned : 

" God loveth not the speaking evil of any one in public." f 

true believers, carefully avoid entertaining a suspicion of 
another ; for some suspicions are a crime. Enquire not too 
curiously into other men's failings : neither let the one of you 
speak ill of another in his absence." I 

Covetousness is also forbidden : 

" Covet not that which God hath bestowed on some of you 
preferable to others." § 
^J Kespect to females is inculcated. 

/ No legal code in the world enjoins so much respect to 
mothers as the Moslem law. The Koran contains the 
\^n junction : 

** Fear God by whom ye beseech one another ; a^nd respect 

women who have borne you, for God is watching over you." || 

r And when the great prophet was asked where Paradise was, 

J and how it could be attained, he replied : " Paradise is at the 

foot of the mother." 

And this is no mere lip service or cant phrase amongst 
Moslems. To-day there can be seen in Constantinople, in 
Cairo, and in Alexandria, and many other places, stalwart 
young Mussulmans carrying on their backs their oil and 
decrepit Christian mothers to their places of worship on the 
Christian Sabbath, and waiting outside these edifices until 
the conclusion of the service, in order to carry their maternal 
parent back home again. 

Eespect is not only enjoined upon every true believer to his 
mother, but kindness and justice required to be shown to all 
of the weaker sex. 

* Sura 92. f Sura 4. ; Sura 49. § Sura 4. *^ - 


The Koran says : "Men's souls are naturally inclined to 

rcovetousness ; but if ye be kind towards women and fear to 
wrong tliem, God is well acquainted with what ye do. Turn 
not from a wife with all manner of aversion, nor leave her 
like one in suspense ; if ye agree, and fear to abuse your 
wives, God is gracious and merciful ; but if they separate, 
God will satisfy them both of His abundance." || 

" Men ought to have a part of what their parents and 
kindred leave behind them when they die ; and women also 
ought to have a part of what their parents and kindred leave, 
whether it be little or whether it be much, a determinate 
part is due to them." "' 

Islam is the greatest temperance society in the world, as 
in the Koran both drunkenness and gaming are forbidden : 

"They will ask thee concerning wine and lots; answer, 
*' In both there is great sin. "If Also, " true behevers ; 
surely wine, and lots, and images, and divining arrows, are 
an abomination of the work of Satan ; therefore avoid them, 
that ye may prosper. Satan seeketh to sow dissension and 
hatred among you, by means of wine and lots, and to divert 
you from remembering God and from prayer, will ye not, 
therefore, abstain from them ? " f 

Tlie Koran also condemns debauchery and excesses of 
^very kind (Suras 4, 17), avarice and pride (Suras 4, 17 and 
18), covetousness (Suras 4, 33), hypocrisy (Suras 4, 63), and 
the thirsting after worldly goods (Suras 100 and 102). 

In the thirtieth Sura,| usury, bribery, and other forms of 
extortion are condemned. " Whatever ye shall give by way 
of a bribe, or shall take as extortion, usury, or illicit gain, to 
be an increase of men's substance, shall not be increased by 

,11 • Sura 4. " Women." ^ Sura 2. t Sura 5. 

J Sura 30, v. 38, entitled " The Greelis "—revealed at Mecca. 


tlie blessiog of God ; but whatever ye shall give iu alms, for- 
God's sake, for that ye shall receive a twofold reward." 

** They who devour usury shall not arise from the dead, 
but as he ariseth whom the evil one has infected by a touch : 
this shall happen to them because they say, * Truly selling is 
but usury ' ; and yet God hath permitted selling and for- 
bidden usury. He, therefore, who when there cometli unto 
him an admonition from his Lord, abstaineth from usury for 
the future, shall have what is past forgiven him, and his 
affair belongeth unto God. But whoever returneth to usury, 
that one shall be the denizen of the place of punishment, 
and shall continue therein for ever. God shall take His 
blessing from usury, and shall increase alms : for God 
loveth no infidel or ungodly person. But they who believe 
and do that which is right, and observe the stated times of 
prayer, and pay their legal alms, they shall have their 
reward with their Lord : there shall come no fear on them, 
neither shall they be grieved. 0, true believers, fear God, 
and remit that which remaineth of usury, if ye really believe ; 
but if ye do it not, hearken unto war which is declared 
against you from God and his apostle ; yet, if ye repent, ye 
shall have the capital of your money. Deal not unjustly 
with others, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly. If 
there be any debtor under a difficulty of paying his debt, let 
his creditor wait till it be easy for him to do it ; but if ye 
remit it in alms it will be better for you, if ye knew it. And 
fear the day wherein ye shall return unto God; then shall 
every soul be paid what it liatli gained, and they shall not be 
treated unjustly." * 

But although usury is thus condemned, lawful commerce is 
allowed. " One of the signs of God is, that he sendeth the 

* Sura 2, " The Cow," v. 276 et seq. 


winds, bearing welcome tidings of rain, that he may cause 
you to taste of his mercy ; and that ships may sail at His 
command, that ye may seek to enrich yourself of His 
abundance by commerce ; and that ye may give thanks." '^ 

Amongst other things bearing on the true principles of 
brotherly love the Koran contains the following ; 

*' Give just measure, and be not defrauders ; and weigh 
with an equal balance ; and diminish not unto men aught 
of their matters ; neither commit violence in the earth acting 

As regards orphans : 

" Give to orphans when they come of age their substance ; 
and render them not in exchange bad for good ; and devour 
not their substance by adding it to your substance, for that is 
a great sin."| ''Oppress not the orphan nor repulse the 

The Koran is opposed to mere ceremonial and ritualism, 
and points out that it is sincerity of heart and good actions 
that proves the true-believer. " There is no piety in turning 
your laces towards the East or towards the West ; but he is 
pious who believeth in God, and the last day, and the angels, 
and the scriptures ; who, for the love of God, disburseth his 
wealth to his kindred, and to the orphans, and the needy, and 
the wayfarer, and those who beg, and for ransoms, who 
observeth prayer and payeth the legal alms, and who is of 
those who are faithful to their engagements when they have 
contracted them, and who are patient under hardships and in 
time of adversity ; these are they who are just and pious, 
these are they who fear the Lord." 


• Sura 30 v 45. 
t Sura 26, J Sura 4. § Sura 93. 


The following virtues are also inculcated : filial piety, 
gratitude towards God, fidelity to engagements, sincerity, 
justice without respect to persons, chastity and decency even 
in words, the ransoming of captives, patience, submission, 
benevolence, forgiveness of injuric^s, the returning of good for 
evil, and the walking in the path of virtue, not with the view 
of obtaining the approbation of the world, but for being 
^/Cceptable unto God. 

Amongst other things denounced in the Koran are, wanton 
cruelty to slaves, self murder and extravagance. Humility 
is enjoined upon all true believers, and the putting off all 
repentance until the approach of death is condemned." 

Prayer is regarded by all Moslems as an indispensable 

adjunct to true rehgion ; and Mahomet thought it so neccessary 

a duty that he used to term it " the Pillar of Religion, and 

the Key to Paradise ; " in fact, the prophet evidently 

considered with James Montgomery that— 

*• Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, 
Uttered or unexpressed, 
The motion of a hidden fire 
That trembles in the breast. 

Prayer is the burden of a sigh. 
The falling of a tear ; 
The upward glancing of an eye, 
"When none but God is near. 

Prayer is the simplest form of speech 

That infant lips can try ; 
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach 

The Majesty on high. 

* See Suras 3, 17, 24, and 26. 


Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice 

Returning from his ways ; 
While angels in their songs rejoice 

And cry, ' Behold he prays ! ' 

Prayer is the Moslems' vital breath, 

The Moslems' native air ; 
His watchword at the gates of death; 

He enters heaven with prayer, t 

And it is recorded, that in the 9th year of the Hegira, 
when the Thakififces sent to make their submission to the 
prophet, after the keeping of their favourite idol had been 
denied them, they begged, at least, that they might be excused 
from saying the appointed prayers. Mahomet refused their 
request and answered : " That there could be no good in that 
religion wherein was no prayer," 

The Koran contains many passages enjoining upon true 
believers the necessity of prayer — the following extracts may 
be taken as typical of the rest : — " Recite that which hath 
been revealed unto thee of the Koran, and be constant in 
prayer, for prayer restraineth from the filthy and the blame- 
worthy, and surely the remembering of God is a most impor- 
tant duty." 

'* Verily, they who recite the Book of God, and observe 
prayer, and give alms in public and in private, from what we 
have bestowed upon them, may hope for a merchandise that 
shall not perish." 

'* Enjoin prayer on thy family, and dost thou persevere 

" Glorify God therefore, when ye reach the evening, and 
when ye rise at morn ; and to Him be praise in the heavens 

t Hymn, "What is prayer? " — James Montgomery. 


aud on the earth ; and at sunset, and when ye rest at noon " 

The Koran abounds with many suitable passages which are 

used by Moslems as model prayers, just in the same manner 

as Christians repeat what they term " The Lord's Prayer." 

As an example, we will take for instance what is Jmown as 

the " Initial Prayer," which comprises the first Sura of the 


" Praise be to God, the Master of the Universe ; 

" The most merciful, the Ruler of the day of judgment. 

*' Thee do we worship, and of Thee do we beg assistance. 

*' Direct us in the right way, 

** In the way of those to whom Thou hast been gracious ; 

** Not of those against whom Thou art incensed, 

** Nor of those who go astray- Amen." 
Another is called the "Angel's Prayer," and is found in the 
40th Sura, * and runs thus : — 

" Lord, Thou encompassest all things by Thy mercy 
and knowledge ; 

''Wherefore forgive those who repent and follow Thy 

" And deliver them from the punishment of perdition : 

" Lord, lead them also into gardens of eternal abode 

*' Which Thou hast promised unto them, 

**And unto everyone who shall do right, 

" Of their fathers, and their wives, and their children ; 

*' For Thou art the Mighty, the Wise God. 

" And deliver them from evil ; 

** For whomsoever Thou shalt deliver from evil on that 

** On him wilt Thou show mercy ; 

** And this will be great salvation." 

* Entitled " The True BeHever; " revealed at Mecca. 


The Koran condemns pretentious prayers and ostentatious 

" Verily, the hypocrites would deceive God ; 

" But He will deceive them ! 

" When they stand up for prayer, 

" They stand carelessly to he seen of men, 

*' And they remember God but little, 

** Wavering between faith and infidelity, 

" And adhering neither unto this nor to that." * 

*' Woe then to those who pray, 

" Who in their prayers are careless ; 

" Who make a show of devotion, 

"But refuse assistance to the needy." f 
A learned writer [j has remarked, ** The utmost solemnity 
and decorum are observed in the public worship of the Mos- 
lems. Never are they guilty of an irregular word or action 
during their prayers ; they appear wholly absorbed in the 
adoration of their Creator, without affected humility or a forced 
expression of countenance." 

Among the many excellencies of the Koran are two eminently 
conspicuous ; one being the tone of awe and reverence which 
it always observes when speaking of or referring to the Deity, 
to whom it neverattributes either human frailties and passions; 
the other the total absence throaghout it of all impure, 
immoral and indecent ideas, expressions, narratives, &c., blem- 
ishes, which, it is much to be regretted, are of too frequent 
occurrence in what Christians style the " old Testament." So 
exempt, indeed, is the Koran from these undeniable defects, 
that it needs not the slightest castration, and may be read^ 

* Sura 4. " Women." 
+ Sura 107. " Necessai-ies." 
II Lane, " Modern Egypt," Vol I., p. 120. 


from beginning to end, without causing a blush to suffuse the 
cheek of modesty itself. * 

Many other authors have also written in terms highly eulog- 
istic of the Koran and its contents ; one of these f exp esses 
himself thus : — " By a fortune absolutely unique in history, 
Mohammed is a threefold founder of a nation, of an empire 
and of a religion. Illiterate himself, scarcely able to read or 
write, he was yet the author of a book which is a poem, a code 
of laws, a book of common prayer, and a bible in one, and is 
reverenced to this day by a sixth of the whole human race as 
a miracle of purity of style, of wisdom, and of truth. It is the 
one miracle claimed by Mohammed — his standing miracle he 
called it; and a miracle indeed it is." In the "Popular 
Encyclopedia," I 1 find the following : — " The language of the 
Koran is considered the purest Arabic, and contains such 
charms of style and poetic beauties, that it remains inimitable. 
Its moral precepts are pure. A man who should observe them 
strictly would lead a virtuous life." And in the Herbert lectures 
occurs the following passage ; — " The Law of Islam contains 
admirable moral precepts, and, what is more, succeeds in bring- 
ing them into practice and powerfully supporting their observ- 
ance," while an eminent Cln-istiau Cleric I| says, " The code of 
the Koran makes, doubtless, a deeper impression than has been 
made on Christianity by the code of the Bible." 

Much has been made by opponents of the Moslem faith, by 
the reiteration of the accusation that Fatalism and Islam are 
synonymous terms. On this subject I can only say that such a 
statement is only proof of the astounding bigotry and ignor- 

* '■ Mabomet and the Korsiu.''— Davenport. 

t " The Life of Mohammed," by Bosworth Smith, p. 343. 

+ The Popular Encj'clop. dia, Divisiou, viii., p. 326. 

|| Dean Stanley, " Eastern Church," page 279. 


ance of the persons uttering it. So far as the life of Mahomet 
and the language of the Koran go to prove, Fatalism is an 
utter and absolute invention, for not once but frequently, as if 
to especially guard against such an assumption, Mahomet 
denied it as emphatically as he could. And this view is 
supported by such able Christian writers and scholars as 
John Joseph Lake, Fellow of the Meterological Society, and 
author of " The Christian religion : Its Philosophical 
Principles and its Enemies," and by the learned Dr. Deutsch.* 

The Koran repudiates the idea of any vicarious sacrifice for 
sin ; but on the contrary expressly teaches the commonsense 
doctrine that each soul must account for itself to the Deity, 
to " God who is wise and knowing, who will not defraud you 
of any part of the merit of your works ; and who is iuchiied 
to forgive and be merciful,"! and throwing on one side the 
mass of mystery and superstition taught by Christians under 
the names of " Redemption and Regeneration, '* lays upon 
each individual the task of atoning for his own sin, of securing 
pardon, and of rendering himself fit for admission to paradise. 

•'A burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another ; 
and if a heavy burdened soul call on another to bear part of 
its burden, no part thereof shall be borne by the person who 
shall be called on, although he be ever so nearly related. "|' 
•' If I err, verily I shall err only against my own soul ; but if 
I be rightly directed, it will be by that which my Lord 
revealeth unto me ; for He is ready to hear, and nigh unto- 
those who call upon Him. "II 

* Vide his article in the " Quarterly Review." 
+ Koran Sura 49, '* Inner Apartments." 
+ Sura 35. " The Creator." 
^[ Sura 34. " Saba." 


**The mercy which God shall freely bestow on mankind, 
"there is none who can withhold ; and what He shall withhold, 
there is none who can bestow, besides Him ; and He is the 
Mighty, the Wise." * 

It may be just as well here, to allude to an absurd notion 
amongst Christians that Moslems believe that women have no 
souls, or if they have that they will perish, like those of brute 
beasts, and will not be rewarded in the next life. This 
doctrine is not held by true believers ; on the contrary there are 
several passages in the Koran which affirm that women, in the 
next life will not only be punished for their evil actions, but 
will also receive the rewards of their good deeds, as well as 
the men, and that in this case, God will make no distinction 
of the sexes. I 

The following extract from the 4th Sura (*' Women ") may 
be taken as a sample of a number of similar passages in the 
Koran dealing with this subject :— '* Whoso doeth evil, shall 
be rewarded for it ; and shall not find any protector or helper, 
other than God ; but whoso doeth good works, ivhether nude or 
female, and is a true believer, that one shall be admitted into 
Paradise, and shall not in the least be unjustly dealt with." 

The stock charge against Islam is, generally, that it is a 
relif'ion propounded by the unrestrained use of the sword. 
Never was there a greater fallacy. Islam has never interfered 
with the dogmas of any faith — never persecuted, never estab- 
lished an inquisition, never aimed at compulsory pro&elytism. 
It offered its religion but never enforced it, the maxim of the 
Mussulman being the text of the Koran '* Let there be no 
violence in religion." § '* Had the Saracens, Turks, and 

* Sura 35. "The Creator." 

+ Vide Koruu, Suras 3, 4, 13, 16, 40, 48, 57, etc. 

§ Sura 3. " The Cow.' 



other Maliomedan tribes," says Cliatfield (" Historical Re- 
view," page 311), '' adopted the same conduct towards the 
Christians as the European natives had practised towards tlie 
followers of the Koran, it is probable that the Christian religion 
would have been extinguished in the East." " It may be truly 
said," observes Mons. Jurieu, " that there is no comparison 
between the cruelty of the Saracens against the Christians 
and that of Popery against the true belisvers. In the wars 
against the Vaudois, or in the massacre alone on St. Bar- 
tholomew's day, there was more blood spilt on account of 
religion than was shed hy the Saracens in all their persecu- 
tions of the Christians. It is expedient to cure men of this 
prejudice, namely, that Mahomedanism is a cruel sect, which 
was propagated by putting men to their choice of death or 
the abjuration of Christianity. This is in no wise true ; and 
the conduct of the Saracens was an evangelical meekness in 
comparison with that of Popery, which exceeded the cruelty 
of the cannibals." And finally, the argument which Carl3'le 
has employed on this question is at once so cogent, unanswer- 
able and unique, for its dissimilarity to any previously given, 
that the temptation of quoting it cannot be resisted. " Much 
has been said of Mahomet's propagating his religion by the 
sword. Yet withal, if we take this for an argument of the 
truth or falsehood of a religion, there is a radical mistake in 
it. The sword indeed ! but where will you get your sword ? 
Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minoriiy 
of one. In one man's head alone, there it dwells as yet. One 
man alone of the whole world believes it ; there is one man 
against all men. That he take a sword, and try to propagate 
with that, will do little for him. You must first get your 
sword ! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can. 
We do not find, of the Christian rehgion either, that it always 


disdained the sword, when once it had got one. Charle- 
magne's conversion of the Saxons was not by preaching. I 
care httle about the sword : I will allow a thing to struggle 
for itself in this world, with any sword or tongue or implement 
it has, or can lay hold of. We will let it preach, and 
pamphleteer, and fight, and to the uttermost bestir itself, and 
do, beak and claws, whatsoever is in it ; very sure that it will, 
in the long run, conquer nothing that does not deserve to be 
conquered. What is better than itself, it cannot put away, 
but only what is worse. In this great duel, Nature herself is 
umpire, and can do no wrong; the thing which is deepest- 
rooted in Nature, what we call truest, that thing and not the 
other will be found growing at last.""- 

We claim for Islam that it is free from '* cant and rant ;" we 
want no hypocrites, no time servers in our ranks, we have no 
time or taste for platitudes, oiw religion is our life. Carlyle 
with his keen piercii^g intellect, perceived this trait in our 
prophet and his followers, and thus alludes to it : '' Withal I 
like Mahomet for his total freedom from cant. He is a rough 
self-helping son of the wilderness; does not pretend to be 
what he is not. There is no ostentatious pride in him ; but 
neither does he go much upon humility ; he is there as he 
can be, in cloak and shoes of his own clouting ; speaks 
plainly to all manner of Persian Kings, Greek Emperors, 
what it is they are bound to do ; knows well enough, about 
himself, *• the respect due unto thee :" no Dilettantism in 
this Mahomet ; it is a business of Reprobation and Salvation 
with him, of Time and Eternity ; he is in deadly earnest 
about it ! Dilettantism, hypothesis, speculation, a kind of 

*The reader who desires to pursue this hranch of the suhject further 
will find it fully dealt with in the author's work, " The Religion of the 


amateur-search for truth, toying and coquetting with truth : 
this is the sorest sin. The root of all other imaginable 
sins. It consists in the heart and soul of the man, never 
having been open to truth — " livmg in a vain show." Such 
a man not only utters and produces falsehood, but is him- 
self a falsehood. The rational moral principal, spark of the 
divinity, is sunk deep in him, in quiet paralysis of life-death. 
On the other hand Islam, like any great Faith, and insight 
into the essence of man, is a perfect equaliser of men : the 
soul of one believer outweighs all earthly kingships ; all 
men according to Islam, too, are equal. On the whole, we 
will repeat, that this religion of Mahomet's is a kind of 
Christianity; and has a genuine element of what is 
spiritually highest looking through it. For these twelve 
centuries it has been the religion and life guidance of the fifth 
part of the whole kindred of mankind. Above all things, 
it has been a religion heartily believed. These Arabs 
believe their religion, and try to live by it ! No Christians 
since the early ages, or only, perhaps, the English Puritans 
in the modern times, have ever stood by their faith as the 
Moslems do by theirs, — believing it wholly, fronting Time 
with it and Eternity with it, This night the watchman on 
the streets of Cairo when he cries, ' Who goes ?' will hear 
from the passenger, along with his answer, * There 
is no God but God.' Allah, Akhar, Islam sounds 
through the souls, and whole daily existence, of these 
dusky millions. Zealous missionaries preach it abroad 
among Malays, black Papuans, brutal Idolaters — displacing 
what is worse, nothing that is better or as good." ''' 

On this subject Dr. Marcus Dods observes: — "There are 
two features of the devout character which the Mohammedans 

• '• Heroes and Hero Worship." (The Hero as a prophet.) — Carlyle. 


have the merit of exhibiting with much greater distinctness 
than Christians do. Tliey show not the smallest hesitation 
or fear in confessing God, and they reduce to practice the 
great princi^jle that the worship of God is not confined to 
temples or any special place : — 

** Most honour to the men of prayer 
Whose Mosque is in them everywhere ! 
Who amid revel's wildest din, 
In war's severest discipline, 
On rolling deck, in thronged bazaar, 
In stranger land, however far, 
However different in their reach 
Of thought, in manners, dress or speech — 
Will quietly their carpet spread. 
To Mecca turn the humble head, 
And, as if blind to all around. 
And deaf to each distracting sound, 
In simple language God adore, 
In spirit to His presence soar, 
And in the pauses of the prayer, 
Kest as if wrapt in glory there." " 

" It is one of the glories of Islam," says another Christian 
writer,! *' that its temples are not made with hands, and 
that its ceremonies can be performed anywhere upon God's 
earth, or under His heaven." 

Such is the faith of Islam, such is the belief of about 
240,000,000 of humim beings who still follow the teachings of 
the last and greatest of the prophets, and five times a day 
address to Almighty God the prayers of the faithful. 

" Mohammed, Buddha, and Christ," by JSlarciis Dads, D.D. (p. 30.) 
1 " Our Indian Mussulmans," p. 179 — Hunter. 


The Moslem faith prevails from Morocco along the whole 
north coast of Africa and southwards to the Transvaal, 
including Zanzibar. It dominates in Egypt, and the Turkish 
Empire, in Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, and Turkestan, has 
over 57,000,000 of followers in India, is powerfully represented 
among the Malays, and has now a firm footing in China ; there 
are fifteen thousand Moslems in Cape Colony alone, while 
its mosques can be found in the wilds of Siberia, and in St. 
Petersburg there is a by no means uninfluential Mahommedan 
congregation, while missionary efforts for its propagation are 
succeeding in various parts of the world, not excepting 
the United Kingdom. 

This is the brotherhood to v/hich we now invite our 
countrj^men in England ; this is the faith we offer for their 
acceptance. We ask them to fling aside the prejudices that 
have been engrafted upon their minds from the bigotry of 
generations of crafty and ingenious theological metaphysicians. 
To cease to be satisfied with the lame explanation of a seem- 
ingly impossible theological tenet that it is a mystery. 
Mysteries, delusions, and hallucinations are discordant notes 
in the great harmony of the simple faith revealed by the 
Almighty to primitive man. 

Anything incomprehensive or tinged with improbability 
must of necessity create doubt and distrust, and perhaps con- 
fusion in the mind of the seeker for truth, and most of all is 
this to be dreaded in the case of religious belief where the 
issues are so momentous, and the consequence of error or 
fallacy so serious. What we desire to know is the great facts 
as to our own spiritual nature and destiny. Islam gives the 
answer in simple language. It teaches man to be resigned to 
the inscrutable and allwise will of the Almighty Deity. — 
" From God ye came and unto Him must ye return." Perish 


all human ambitions, the care from any human institution or 
personal interest and reputation. Perish all systems, and all 
mysterious creeds, however honoured and venerable they may 
be, rather than that man, the last and noblest work of the 
Creator, should be led astray from the plain and straight path 
of truth and righteousness. But it may be argued — Are you 
not giving an under value to men's beliefs ? Surely they who 
protest that beliefs are nothing, cannot have measured the 
natural effect of their own words, as one modern lecturer* 
has aptly said : "In what region is it that a man's belief is 
of no value ? Certainly not in the commercial world, where a 
man's beliefs go far to account either for his success or his 
failure. He is unwisely credulous and embarks his capital in 
enterpises which bring only loss, disaster and ruin. He is 
timidly sceptical, and he loses the opportunity which to men 
of truer insight and more courageous faith opens the way to 
distinguished success. Not in the .literary or scientific world 
where it must be at once apparent that the adoption of a 
false principle will vitiate an entire chain of arguments, and 
where consequently wise students think no amount of 
observation and no number of experiments too excessive if 
they be necessary for the testing of a particular conclusion. 
Not in the ordiuary life of a man where a false belief — say in 
the innocuous character of a poison — may be the cause of a 
practical mistake with fatal consequences. Wherever a man 
has to act upon a belief, it is of the highest moment that the 
belief should itself be in harmony with fact." 

Dr. Maudsky, in pregnant and well-chosen words, has 
truly said, *'It should be every man's steadfast aim, as part 
of his nature — his patient work — to cultivate such entire 
sincerity of relations with it ; to be so completely one with it 

* " Orthodoxy and Scepticism," by the Rev. J. Guinness Rogers, B.A. 


in life, that when the summons comes to surrender his mortal 
part to absorption into it, he does so, not fearfully, as to an 
enemy who has vanquished him, but trustfuU}'-, as to a mother 
who, when the day's task is done, bids him lie down to sleep." 
And in such language may be expressed the resignation of the 
Moslem to the Divine will. 

In conclusion let me warn those who are ready to embrace, 
as well as those wlio have already had the courage of their 
convictions and renounced Christianity and embraced Islam, 
that they must expect to be sneered at, reviled, and their 
motives questioned and misconstrued. 

It was so in the days of Mahomet an will be so until the 
end of the world. And for their comfort and consolation the 
Almighty has Himself revealed a passage in the Koran to sus- 
tain them in their faith : 

** They upbraid tlieo that thou hast embraced Islam. 

** Answer them and say. Upbraid me not with having em- 
braced Islam : — 

" Iiather God upbraideth you whom He hath also directed 
to the faith. 

'* Verily, God knoweth the secrets of heaven and earth : and 
God behcldeth that which ye do." * 

' Kordn, Sura 49, last verses. 



The title Allah is called ism-uz-zat, or the essential nam& 
of God ; the ninety- nine other titles are called al-asma'ol- 
hasnii. or the *' excellent names." This is referred to in the 
Koran : ** But God's are excellent names ; call on Him therehy."* 
This verse is commented upon in the Hadees, or Traditions,. 
and Ahu Horaira states that the Prophet said, '' Verily 
there are ninety-nine names of God, and whoever recites- 
them shall be one of those who shall enter into Paradise/' 

In the same Tradition these names, or attributes, are given 
thus : — 

1. Ar- Rahman 

2. Ar- Rahim 

3. Al- Malek, 

4. Al- Quddus, 

5. As- Salam, 

6. Al- MOmen, 

7. Al- Mohaymen, 

8. Al- Aziz, 

9. Al- Jabbar, 

10. Al- Motakkaber, 

11. Al- Khaleq, 

12. Al- Bart, 

13. Al- Mosawwir, 

14. Al- G'haffar, 

15. Al- Qahhar, 

The Merciful, 
The Compassionate, 
The King, 
The Holy, 
The Peaceful. 
The Faithful. 
The Protector. 
The Dear One. 
The Repairer. 
The Great. 
The Creator. 
The Maker. 
The Fashioner, 
The Forgiver. 
The Dominant. 

Sura 7. Text, (Ayat) 179. 


16. Al- 

17. Ar- 

18. Al- 

19. Al- 

20. Al- 

21. Al- 

22. Al- 

23. Ar. 

24. Al- 

25. Al- 
iiQ. As- 

27. Al- 

28. Al- 

29. Al- 
so. Al- 

Sl. Al- 
32. Al. 

53, Al- 

54. Al- 
35. As- 
S6. Al- 

37. Al- 

38. Al- 
so. Al- 

40. Al- 

41. Al- 

42. Al- 

43. Ar- 

44. Al- 

45. Al- 

46. Al- 

47. Al- 











SI 5 

AMI , 





Ali, . 



Mo JIB, 




The Bestower. 

The Provider. 

_The Opener. 

The Knower. 

The Restrainer. 

The Spreader. 

The Keeper of Secrets. 

The Exalter. 

The Houourer. 

The Destroyer. 

The Hearer. 

The Seer. 

The Ruler. 

The Just. 

The Beautiful. 

The Aware. 

The Clement. 

The Grand. 

The Forgiving. 

The Grateful. ; ': 

The Exalted. 

The Great. 

The Guardian. 

The Strengthener. .. 

The Reckoner. ., ,. 

The Majestic. 

The Generous. . , 

The Watcher. 

The Approver. , , 

The Compreiiender, 

The Wise. 

The Loving. 


48. Al- MannAn, 

The' Magnificent. 

49. Al- BAes, '- 

The Raiser. 


50. As- 5hahid, 

Tlie Witness. 

. 1 

51. Al- Haqq, 

Tiie Truth. 

52, Al- Wakil, 

The Advoeate. 

53. Al- Qawi, 

The Strong. 

54. Al- Matin, 

The Firm. 

55. Al- Wali, 

The Patron. 

56. Al- Hamid, 

The Laudable. 

57. Al- Mohsi, 

The Counter., 

58. Al- Mobdi, 

The Beginner. 

59. Al- Mcid, 

The Eestorer. 

60. Al- Mohyi, 

The Quickener. 

61. Al- Momit, 

The Killer. 

62. Al- Hai-ye, 

The Living. 

63. Al- Qayyum, 

The Subsisting. 

64. Al- Wajed, 

The Finder. 

65. Al- Majid, 

The Glorious. 

6Q. Al- AVahed, 

The One. 

67. Al- Sam ad, 

The Eternal. 

68. Al- Qader, 

The Powerful. 

69. Al- Moqtader, 

The Prevailing. 

70. Al- Moqaddem, 

The Bringing Forward. 

71. Al- Moaxxer, 

The Deferrer. 

72. Al- Awwal, 

The First. 

73. Al- Akher, 

The Last. 

74. Az- Zaher, 

The Evident. 

75. Al- Baten, 

The Hidden. 

76. Al- Wali, 

The Governor. 

77. Al- Motaali, 

The Exalted. 

78. Al- Barr, 

The Righteous. 

79. At- Tawwab, 

The Accepter of Repen 



80. Al- Montaqem, 

81. Al- Afuw, 

82. Ar- Eauf, 

S3. Maleku'l Mulk, 

84. Zu'l Jalale w'al 


85. Al- Moqset, 

86. Al- Jami, 

87. Al- (jhani, 

88. Al- Moghni, 

89. Al-Mo'ti, 

90. Al- Mane, 

91. Az- Zarr, 

92. An-Nafe, 

93. An- Nur, 

94. Al- Hadi, 

95. Al- Badi, 

96. Al- Baqi, 

97. Al- Wares, 

98. Ar- Easchid, 

99. As- Sabur, 

The Avenger. 

The Pardoner. 

The Kind. 

The Ruler of the lungdom. 

The Lord of Majesty and 

The Equitable. 

The Collector. 

The Independent. 

The Enricher. 

The Giver. 

The Witholder. 

The Distresser. 

The Profiter. 

The Light. 

The Guide. 

The Incomparable. 

The Enduring. 

The Inheritor. 

The Director. 

The Patient. 

The list either begins or closes with Allah, thus completing 
the number of one hundred names, which are usually recited 
on a rosary at leisure moments by many devout Moslems. 

I 2<r ID E x: 


Abraham . . 




Ali, Caliph, quotation from 


Almsgiving and Charity . . . . . . . . 




Angel Gabriel, Appearance of to Mahomet 

37, 41 

"' Angel's Prayer " 


Athanasian Creed 

29, 30 


Basis of Islamic System . . 



Brotherly Love 


Calmet, Biography of 

. . (Foot note) 30 

Canon Taylor's Speech . . 

. . 11 to 15 

Carlyle on Mahomet and the Koran 

47, 50 




David Urquhart's " Spirit of the East " 


DiflFerence of Christianity and Islam . . 


Divine Books 


Drunkenness, Evil Speaking, and Gaming 

54, 55 

Equality of all Men, An Islamic Doctrine 


Extent of Islam . . 


Fatalism and Islam 

62, 63 

Fundamental Doctrine of Islam 


Gabriel, Angel 

.. 37,38,48 

God, Caliph All's Conception of 


God, 99 Excellent Names of 

. . Appendix 

eason . . 31, 33 

God, Moslem conception of 

20, 23 

. . 45 





Initial Prayer 



Islam, Definition of, by Sultan Abdul-Hamid II. 
Islam and temperance . . : . . 

Islam, Meaning of the term 

Jesus •• •• •• •• •• •• •• • 

Koran, The 

Kaaba, The 
Mahomet, Birth 

,, Conversion 

„ Miracles 

,, Persecution 

,, and Waraka . . 

,, Foretold in both Jewish and Christian Scriptures 

,, Character 

,, Entry to Medina 

,^ UgrlIi •• •• •• •• •• •• • 

Mahomedan Law, Edmund Burke on . . 

Mothers to be respected 

Mahomedanism not Propagated by the Sword 


Muir, Sir William, on the Koran 


No Priesthood in Islam . . 

No Vicarious Sacrifice for Sin . . 

Only one Goi 

Orphans . . . . . . - • 


Polygamy . . 

Prayer a Duty 


Prophets of Islam 

Redemption and Regeneration . . 

Resurrection and Final Judgment 


Thompson's Letter to " Times " 

Trinity Considered 

Wives to be treated with kindness 

Women have Souls 

Women, Respect to be shewn to 


• • • • • • 00 

Free from Cant 66 

• • • • ^O J oO 

. . 49 to 64 



. 57 
. 52 
. 14 
to 61 
. 53 

• ^^ 
. 63 

. 52 

14, 17 


. 29 

. 54 

. 64 

. 54 


Tolunie 1 Mow Ready. Volinne 2 in the Press and will 

Shortly he Published. 

y ' \ '. THE 



Judaism, Christianity & Islam, 

With a view of considering which Religion has been 

the most Tolerant. 


"VST. HC. Q;TJIXj31.I^I^. 

Price (in paper backs) 2s. 6d., (bound in cloth) 3s. 6d. each volume. 



A Critical Co7nparison of their 

Life, "W^orks, and Teaching. 

Also Now Ready (2nd edition) 


(The Lecture through which the first convert to Islam in England 

was obtained). 



D Postage ntamps 


Thos. RIDPATH & Co. 

12, Church Street, 



(England) , 

Are open to Buy in small or large 
quantities any Old Postage Stamps, 
such as Liberia, Congo, Gold Coast, 
Lagos, Gambia, St. Helena, Sierra 
Leone, Cape of Good Hope, and all 
African Colonies, also Australian, 
Borneo, Afghanistan, and used Stamps 
of all the Hative States of India, 
especially on the Envelopes. 

The Value of Parcels received can be forwarded 
by us in Cash (Money Order) or in Books, Jewellery, 
or Goods of any kind. 

flios. RIDPATH & Co.,chi?chst.Liyerpool, England 



MAY 2 8 '7t 










' •-•'♦ 




The faith of Islam : an explanatory 

Princeton Theological Semmary-Speer Library 

1 1012 00039 3381